Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 148–155 | Cite as

Development of an HPLC–UV Detection Method for the Simultaneous Determination of Two Monascus Orange Pigments in Red Yeast Rice

  • Zhibing HuangEmail author
  • Shuyun Zhang
  • Yang Xu
  • Laisheng Li
  • Yanping Li


A simple and reliable HPLC–UV method was developed for the simultaneous determination of two orange pigments, rubropunctatin (RPT) and monascorubrin (MSB), in red yeast rice. Alcohols were found unsuitable for the extraction of these pigments because they chemically reacted with the pigments to afford new compounds. Thus, acetonitrile/H2O was used as the mobile phase for the chromatographic separation of RPT and MSB. Under optimal conditions, good linearity was obtained over the concentration range of 0.25–50.0 μg mL−1 and 0.5–50 μg mL−1 for RPT and MSB, respectively, with a correlation coefficient (R 2) of >0.9994. The limits of detection and quantification were 0.05 and 0.15 μg mL−1, respectively, for RPT, and 0.10 and 0.30 μg mL−1, respectively, for MSB. The recoveries of RPT and MSB in red yeast rice were 91.9–101 % and 89.8–102 %, respectively, with relative standard deviations of <5.0 %. This assay was successfully used to measure the amount of RPT and MSB produced by Monascus spp. at different fermentation times.


Monascus Orange pigment Rubropunctatin Monascorubrin Simultaneous determination HPLC 



This project was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31160308 and No. 21165012). This work was also supported by the Project of Jiangxi Province Higher Educational Science and Technology Program (No. KJLD12052), and Free-exploration Research Project of State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology (SKLF-ZZB-201518).

Conflict of Interest

Zhibing Huang has no conflict of interest. Shuyun Zhang has no conflict of interest. Yang Xu has no conflict of interest. Laisheng Li has no conflict of interest. Yanping Li has no conflict of interest.This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhibing Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shuyun Zhang
    • 1
  • Yang Xu
    • 1
  • Laisheng Li
    • 2
  • Yanping Li
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Sino–Germany Joint Research InstituteNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Center of Analysis and TestingNanchang UniversityNanchangChina

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