Determination of the polyphenolic fraction of Pistacia vera L. kernel extracts by comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry detection

  • Katia Arena
  • Francesco CacciolaEmail author
  • Domenica Mangraviti
  • Mariosimone Zoccali
  • Francesca Rigano
  • Nino Marino
  • Paola Dugo
  • Luigi Mondello
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Young Investigators in (Bio-)Analytical Chemistry


Pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) belongs to the Anacardiaceae family and it is a small tree species. It is native of the Middle East and Central Asia, but currently, it is cultivated also in California and in some Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy. The most important pistachio producers are Iran, the USA, and Turkey. Besides being a delicious nut, pistachio, due to its wholesome nutritional properties, could be considered as a functional food. According to the results of several studies, pistachios have been proven to have various groups of valuable phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, proanthocyanidins, flavonols, isoflavones, flavanones, stilbenes, and phenolic acids, possessing excellent biological activities. The most common analytical technique employed for their analysis is represented by liquid chromatography coupled to photodiode array and mass spectrometry detection. However, conventional LC can present some limits especially in terms of resolving power. In this contribution, as a powerful alternative, comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC×LC) was applied to the determination of the polyphenolic fraction of pistachio kernels from different geographical origins. A 150-mm micro-bore cyano column (2.7 μm dp) and 50-mm superficially porous C18 silica column (2.7 μm dp) in the first (1D) and second (2D) dimensions were employed, respectively. For boosting orthogonality, a shift 2D gradient was investigated leading to an increase in the overall peak capacity. The newly developed LC×LC method showed satisfactory linearity, sensitivity, precision and accuracy, which was then applied to sample quantitative analysis. A total of 51 different polyphenolic compounds were determined in the four samples investigated and 18 out of them are hereby reported for the first time.


Pistacia vera L. Polyphenols Bronte Comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry 



The authors are thankful to Shimadzu and Merck Life Science Corporations for the continuous support.

Funding information

This study received financial support from the “Prof. Antonio Imbesi Foundation” of the University of Messina.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Not applicable.

Supplementary material

216_2019_1649_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (502 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 502 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katia Arena
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesco Cacciola
    • 3
    Email author
  • Domenica Mangraviti
    • 2
  • Mariosimone Zoccali
    • 2
  • Francesca Rigano
    • 4
  • Nino Marino
    • 5
  • Paola Dugo
    • 2
    • 4
    • 6
  • Luigi Mondello
    • 2
    • 4
    • 6
  1. 1.Foundation Prof. Antonio ImbesiUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed AmbientaliUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Odontoiatriche e delle Immagini Morfologiche e FunzionaliUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  4. 4.Chromaleont s.r.l., c/o Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed AmbientaliUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  5. 5.Pistì - Antichi Sapori dell’Etna S.r.L Viale J. F. Kennedy/Zona artigianale 12-13BronteItaly
  6. 6.Unit of Food Science and Nutrition, Department of MedicineUniversity Campus Bio-Medico of RomeRomeItaly

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