Italian researchers have developed a new analytical method using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to an electrospray source with a tandem quadrupole-time-of-flight (ESI-Q-ToF) mass spectrometer for the full characterisation and quantitation of the different classes of fatty acids and acylglycerols in lipid samples in a single chromatographic run. The free fatty acids in the samples are derivatised using 2-hydrazinoquinoline, which does not involve trans-esterification with the other mono, di and triglycerides of the sample, and allows the free fatty acids to be identified and quantified. This new analytical method provides a full profile of fatty acids, mono-, di- and triglycerides within a relatively short chromatographic run (less than 40 min), with low operating back-pressure (less than 110 bar).
The method was validated by characterising two different types of olive oils. Free fatty acid content was quantified, and the results are consistent with literature data. The method was used to characterise cow milk and an infant formula, after the precipitation of proteins and phospholipids, and proved suitable for the detection of short chain fatty acids, free fatty acids and glycerides highlighting differences in the composition of the two milks.
Read the abstract at: FFA determination