Studies into the phenolic patterns of different tissues of pineapple (Ananas comosus [L.] Merr.) infructescence by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn and GC-MS analysis


In a comprehensive study, more than 60 phenolic compounds were detected in methanolic extracts from different tissues of pineapple infructescence by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection and electrospray ionisation multiple-stage mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn) as well as by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The analytical workflow combining both methods revealed numerous compounds assigned for the first time as pineapple constituents by their mass fragmentations. Pineapple crown tissue was characterised by depsides of p-coumaric and ferulic acid. In contrast, major phenolic compounds in pineapple pulp extracts were assigned to diverse S-p-coumaryl, S-coniferyl and S-sinapyl derivatives of glutathione, N-l-γ-glutamyl-l-cysteine and l-cysteine, which were also identified in the peel. The latter was additionally characterised by elevated concentrations of p-coumaric, ferulic and caffeic acid depsides and glycerides, respectively. Two peel-specific cyanidin hexosides were found. Elevated concentrations of isomeric N,N′-diferuloylspermidines may be a useful tool for the detection of fraudulent peel usage for pineapple juice production. Mass fragmentation pathways of characteristic pineapple constituents are proposed, and their putative biological functions are discussed.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 3


bp intensity:

Base peak intensity


Collision-induced dissociation




Pyroglutamic acid


Electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry






High-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection


Liquid-liquid extraction


Linear retention index


Mass spectrometry


Nuclear magnetic resonance




Reversed phase


Solid-phase extraction


Total ion current

t R :

Retention time




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C.B.S. gratefully acknowledges a Ph.D. scholarship granted by the Landesgraduiertenförderung Baden-Württemberg. We thank Frank Oberschilp (Peelco, Accra, Ghana) and Fritz Schumacher (Schumacher, Filderstadt-Bernhausen, Germany) for kindly supplying the pineapple fruits.

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Correspondence to Christof B. Steingass.

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Steingass, C.B., Glock, M.P., Schweiggert, R.M. et al. Studies into the phenolic patterns of different tissues of pineapple (Ananas comosus [L.] Merr.) infructescence by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn and GC-MS analysis. Anal Bioanal Chem 407, 6463–6479 (2015).

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  • Glycosides
  • Phenolic acid esters
  • Depsides
  • Glutathione conjugates
  • Spermidine derivatives