Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 2412–2421 | Cite as

New Perspectives of Quantum Dots in the Food Field: Determination of β-Carotene in Tropical Fruit Juices and Food Supplements

  • J. Jiménez-López
  • J.L.M. Santos
  • P. Ortega-Barrales
  • A. Ruiz-Medina


A novel and simple method for the determination of β-carotene, a carotenoid abundant in plants and fruits, is proposed. Multicommutated flow injection analysis (MCFIA) has been applied as automated flow methodology to the analysis of β-carotene in tropical fruit juices and food supplements, making use of the quenching effect caused by this analyte over glutathione-capped CdTe quantum dots (QDs) fluorescence signal. Under optimized conditions, the method was linear in the range of 0.3–15 μg mL−1, with a detection limit of 0.09 μg mL−1 and relative standard deviations lower than 3%. The determination rate was of about 80 h−1, and results were in good agreement with those provided by both the manufacturer and a chromatographic reference method.


β-Carotene Luminescence Glutathione-capped CdTe quantum dots Fruit juices Food supplements 



J.J.L. acknowledges research scholarship from Spanish Government (“Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia”).

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad” (grant number CTQ2016-7511-R).

Conflict of Interest

J. Jiménez-López declares that she has no conflict of interest. J.L.M. Santos declares that he has no conflict of interest. P. Ortega-Barrales declares that she has no conflict of interest. A. Ruiz-Medina declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

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

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Jiménez-López
    • 1
  • J.L.M. Santos
    • 2
  • P. Ortega-Barrales
    • 1
  • A. Ruiz-Medina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Experimental SciencesUniversity of Jaén, Campus de las LagunillasJaénSpain
  2. 2.REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of PharmacyPorto UniversityPortoPortugal

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