Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 2165–2174 | Cite as

Tocopherols and Tocotrienols: an Adapted Methodology by UHPLC/MS Without Sample Pretreatment Steps

  • Marina Ansolin
  • Patricia Tonon de Souza
  • Antônio José de Almeida Meirelles
  • Eduardo Augusto Caldas Batista


Ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (UHPLC/ESI/MS) methodology was adapted for identification and quantification of tocopherols and tocotrienols in vegetable oils with no derivatization or sample preparation steps. The UHPLC analysis was performed using a C18 column and mobile phase composed of methanol: water: ammonium hydroxide (99:1:0.1 v/v/v) and isopropanol. A single mass spectrometer with electrospray on negative mode was used as a detector for tocopherols and tocotrienols. The samples were diluted in isopropanol. The limit of quantification for tocopherols was 0.006 μg mL−1, and the linear range was 0.006 to 0.01 μg mL−1; for tocotrienols, the limit of quantification was 0.002 μg mL−1, and the linear range of analysis was 0.002 to 0.003 μg mL−1. The correlation coefficients were higher than 0.99, indicating that the method has suitable linearity. The methodology has proven to be precise, reproducible, and robust for the parameters studied.


Vegetable oil Tocopherol Tocotrienol Mass spectrometry Electrospray ionization (ESI) 



The authors thank CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, 406856/2013-3; 305870/2014-9; 309780/2014-4; 483340/2012-0) for the financial support, and Beraca Sabará Químicos e Ingredientes S.A for kindly supplying Brazil nut and buriti oil samples.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Marina Ansolin declares that she has no conflict of interest. Patricia Tonon de Souza declares that she has no conflict of interest. Antonio Jose de Almeida Meirelles declares that he has no conflict of interest. Eduardo Augusto Caldas Batista declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain studies with human or animals performed by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ExTrAE Laboratory, Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food EngineeringUniversity of Campinas, UNICAMPCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of ChemistryUniversity of Campinas, UNICAMPCampinasBrazil

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