Characterization of the TAG of peanut oil by electrospray LC-MS-MS


A study of processed peanut oil was undertaken to assess the utility of HPLC combined with tandem MS to obtain data easily regarding the number of TAG of fats and oils and their FA composition. Mass chromatograms and spectra corresponding to only TAG of a single M.W. were obtained for the full range of TAG in the sample. Analysis of the mass spectra allowed the identification of more than 160 TAG in the sample by their FA composition. In addition, it was possible to estimate relative abundances of the TAG and suggest the position of the FA on glycerol for a limited number of cases. This technique greatly simplifies the task of assigning FA to coeluting TAG and facilitates identification of TAG present in trace quantities in mixtures, with possible application in circumstances where such trace TAG could be significant markers. Results are quickly obtained without extensive sample preparation or prefractionation of the sample.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Marini, D., HPLC of Lipids, in Food Analysis by HPLC, edited by L.M.L. Nollet, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1992, pp. 169–240, and references cited therein.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Byrdwell, W.C., and W.E. Neff, Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Triacylglycerols Using Atmospheric-Pressure Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, in New Techniques and Applications in Lipid Analysis, edited by R.E. McDonald and M.M. Mossoba, AOCS Press, Champaign, 1997, pp. 45–80 and references cited therein.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Duffin, K.L., J.D. Henion, and J.J. Shieh, Electrospray and Tandem Mass Spectrometric Characterization of Acylglycerol Mixtures That Are Dissolved in Nonpolar Solvents, Anal. Chem. 63:1781–1788 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Cheng, C., M.L. Gross, and E. Pittenauer, Complete Structural Elucidation of Triacylglycerols by Tandem Sector Mass Spectrometry, 70:4417–4426 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Hsu, F.-F., and J. Turk, Structural Characterization of Triacylglycerols as Lithiated Adducts by Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Using Low-Energy Collisionally Activated Dissociation on a Triple Stage Quadrupole Instrument, J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 10:587–599 (1999).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Marzilli, L.A., F. Dionisi, and P. Vouros, A Study of Triglycerides Using Ion Trap MS, Proceedings of the 45th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Santa Fe, p. 1380.

  7. 7.

    Dorschel, C., Characterization of Triacylglycerols in Natural Fats and Oils by Neutral Loss and Product Ion ESI-MS-MS, Proceedings of the 48th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Santa Fe (abstract number MPH 250).

  8. 8.

    Myher, J.J., Kuksis, A., Marai, L., and Manganaro, F., Quantitation of Natural Triacylglycerols by Reversed-Phase Liquid Chromatography with Direct Liquid Inlet Mass Spectrometry, J. Chromatogr. 283:289–301 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Sempore, G., and J. Bezard, Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Peanut Oil Triacylglycerols by Reversed-Phase Liquid Chromatography, J. Chromatogr. 366:261–282 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Singleton, J.A., and H.E. Patee, Characterization of Peanut Oil Triacylglycerols by HPLC, GLC, and EIMS, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 64:534–538 (1987).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Rezanka, T., and P. Mares, Determination of Plant Triacylglycerols Using Capillary Gas Chromatography, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, J. Chromatogr. 542:145–159 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Barron, L.J.R., and G. Santa-Maria, Non-aqueous Reversed-Phase HPLC Analysis of Triglycerides, Chromatographia 23: 209–214 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Mottram, H.R., S.E. Woodbury, and R.P. Evershed, Identification of Triacylglycerol Positional Isomers Present in Vegetable Oils by High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 11:1240–1252 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Pittenauer, E., J. Bailer, K. Widhalm, and G. Allmaier, Analysis of Oleic Acid-Rich Edible Oils by Mass Spectrometry, Proceedings of the 47th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Santa Fe (abstract number TPH 303).

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Craig A. Dorschel.

About this article

Cite this article

Dorschel, C.A. Characterization of the TAG of peanut oil by electrospray LC-MS-MS. J Amer Oil Chem Soc 79, 749–753 (2002).

Download citation

Key Words

  • Chromatography
  • HPLC
  • LC-MS
  • LC-MS-MS
  • mass spectrometry
  • MS-MS
  • oils
  • peanut oil
  • triacylglycerols
  • triglycerides