Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 19–25 | Cite as

Triacylglycerol Analysis of Fats and Oils by Evaporative Light Scattering Detection

  • Roeland Rombaut
  • Nathalie De ClercqEmail author
  • Imogen Foubert
  • Koen Dewettinck
Original Paper


A high performance liquid chromatography method with evaporative light scattering detection was developed for the analysis of oils and fats, which enabled excellent separation of major and minor triacylglycerol (TAG) species in 33 min, including regeneration of the column. The influence of the mobile phase and temperature on separation and analysis time were evaluated with a cocoa butter standard. The influence of the drift tube temperature and flow of the nebulising gas on the evaporative light scattering detector output signal was investigated by means of a response surface experimental design. Especially the flow of the nebulising gas had a profound effect on the detector signal. An optimal separation was obtained when using a 150 × 3.0 mm C18 column with 3 μm particle diameter at 20 °C and an acetonitrile/dichloromethane gradient at 0.72 mL/min. The maximum response was attained when the ELSD detector was set at the minimum temperature (45 °C) and a gas flow of 1.2 L/min. Finally, the linearity of the detector was investigated. It was found that at very low concentrations, the signal tends to flatten towards zero, giving an underestimation for minor TAG species, especially for oils or fats with a mixed fatty acid composition.


Triacylglycerol Oils and fats Analysis HPLC–ELSD 



Cocoa butter


Evaporative light scattering detector


High performance liquid chromatography


Linoleic acid


Linolenic acid


Oleic acid


Palmitic acid


Palmitoleic acid


Stearic acid




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Copyright information

© AOCS 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roeland Rombaut
    • 1
  • Nathalie De Clercq
    • 1
    Email author
  • Imogen Foubert
    • 1
  • Koen Dewettinck
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Food Technology and Engineering, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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