Journal of Analytical Chemistry

, Volume 70, Issue 10, pp 1218–1224 | Cite as

Rapid microwave assisted preparation of fatty acid methyl esters for the analysis of fatty acid profiles in foods

  • N. P. Brunton
  • C. Mason
  • M. J. CollinsJr.


A microwave (MW) assisted rapid high through-put method for the preparation of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) for the analysis of fatty acid profiles in a selection of foods was evaluated by comparing fatty acid profiles with those resulting from conventional FAME preparation. The microwave method gave fatty acid profiles in close agreement with those arising from conventional methods and the protocol gave acceptable recoveries (98–102%) and repeatability (RSDs for replicate analyses were 0.56–5.2%). In comparison to conventional methods the MW assisted method was simple, rapid and universally effective across foods ranging from dairy products to ready meals. EU regulation (No. 1169/2011) requiring declaration of the saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated content of foods is placing pressure on processors and contract laboratories to analyse fatty acid profiles using relatively low through-put conventional methods. MW assisted preparation of FAMEs offers analysts a high-through-put, rapid and universal method to help overcome this potentially costly and labour intensive regulatory hurdle.


FAMEs analysis fatty acid analysis fatty acid profiling fatty acid GC fat analysis GC 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and Food ScienceUniversity College Dublin (UCD)Belfield, Dublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.CEM CorporationMatthewsUSA

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