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Rapid determination of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural by DART ionization with time-of-flight mass spectrometry


DART (direct analysis in real time), a novel technique with wide potential for rapid screening analysis, coupled with high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) has been used for quantitative analysis of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), a typical temperature marker of food. The DART/TOF-MS method was optimised and validated. Quantification of 5-HMF was achieved by use of a stable isotope-labelled 5-HMF standard prepared from glucose. Formation of 5-HMF from saccharides, a potential source of overestimation of results, was evaluated. Forty-four real samples (honey and caramelised condensed sweetened milk) and 50 model samples of heated honey were analysed. The possibility of using DART for analysis of heated samples of honey was confirmed. HPLC and DART/TOF-MS methods for determination of 5-HMF were compared. The correlation equation between these methods was DART = 1.0287HPLC + 0.21340, R 2 = 0.9557. The DART/TOF-MS method has been proved to enable efficient and rapid determination of 5-HMF in a variety of food matrices, for example honey and caramel.

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The authors are grateful for financial support for specific university research from The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT no. 21/2012) and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (research project MZe No. QI91B283). The authors thank the Bee Research Institute Dol for providing the samples of honey.

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Correspondence to Aleš Rajchl.

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Rajchl, A., Drgová, L., Grégrová, A. et al. Rapid determination of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural by DART ionization with time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem 405, 4737–4745 (2013).

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  • DART
  • 5-HMF
  • HPLC
  • TOF-MS
  • Honey
  • Caramel