, Volume 29, Issue 7–8, pp 363–365 | Cite as

Silver ion spray reagent for the discrimination of β- and ε-end groups in carotenoids on thin-layer chromatograms

  • M. Isaksen
  • G. W. Francis


Thin-layer chromatograms of pure carotenoids and natural carotenoid mixtures were dried and sprayed with saturated methanolic silver nitrate solution. Those carotenoids containing β-end groups showed a marked bathchromic colour change for each such end group. Thus, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin gave a clear red colour while α-carotene, α-cryptoxanthin and lutein gave deep organge spots after such treatment. Taraxanthin and antheraxanthin could be similarly distinguished. The method was not applicable to paper chromatography.

Key Words

Thin-layer chromatography Carotenoids Silver ion Spray reagent β- and ε-end groups 


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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Isaksen
    • 1
  • G. W. Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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