Amino Acids

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 317–326 | Cite as

Determination of N ɛ-(carboxymethyl)lysine in food systems by ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

  • Shima H. Assar
  • Catherine Moloney
  • Maria Lima
  • Ronald Magee
  • Jennifer M. Ames
Original Article


We report the use of ultra pressure liquid chromatography (UPLC), coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer operated in multiple reaction monitoring mode to determine the advanced glycation endproduct, N ɛ-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML). The procedure was applied to acid hydrolyzates of protein isolated from a range of foods (milks processed at different temperatures, butter, cheese, infant formulae, bread, raw and cooked minced beef and olive oil). Highest levels of CML were determined in white bread crust (15.2 ± 0.63 mmol/mol Lys), wholemeal bread crust (13.1 ± 0.61 mmol/mol Lys) and evaporated full-fat milk (4.86 ± 0.77 mmol/mol Lys). Lowest levels of CML were measured in raw minced beef beef (0.03 ± 002 mmol/mol Lys), raw full-fat cow’s milk (0.08 ± 0.03 mmol/mol Lys) and pasteurized skimmed cow’s milk (0.09 ± 0.002 mmol/mol Lys). CML could not be detected in olive oil.


Nɛ-(carboxymethyl)lysine Maillard reaction Advanced glycation endproducts Ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry Dietary advanced glycation endproducts 

List of abbreviations


Advanced glycation endproducts


Advanced lipoxidation endproducts


Amadori rearrangement product


N ɛ-(carboxymethyl)lysine




Maillard reaction


Nonafluoropentanoic acid


Ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry


Trichloroacetic acid


Trifluoroacetic acid



We thank the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Northern Ireland, and Queen’s University Belfast for funding the research. We also thank Professor John Baynes and Professor Susan Thorpe (University of South Carolina, USA) for their kind advice and the gift of d 4-CML.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shima H. Assar
    • 1
  • Catherine Moloney
    • 1
  • Maria Lima
    • 1
  • Ronald Magee
    • 2
  • Jennifer M. Ames
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Nutrition and Health Group, School of Biological SciencesQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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