article published at THERMO Analyte Guru Blog by Petra Gerhards
Monochloropropanediol esters (MCPDe) and glycidyl esters (GE) are the central point of attention of the food industry. Those compounds are unwanted by-products of oil refinery and predominately occur in palm oil. Due to the genotoxic and carcinogenic properties of those compounds, great care should be taken in processing the oils. Nonetheless, any oil can contain MCPDe and GE when it is not processed with the utmost care. Therefore, the European Commission amended EU Regulation to include maximum levels for GE in all edible oils that are to be placed on the European market, including reduced limits for infant formulae and their corresponding vegetable oil ingredients.
Generally, MCPDe and GE occur as esters in the oil matrix. But they require transesterification and derivatization prior to analysis in order to report total MCPD and GE contents. Sample preparation can account for a significant amount of time spent in an analytical workflow. The key to increased productivity and reproducibility is sample prep automation. A complete automated method for analysis of MCPD‐ and glycidyl esters is described from Zwagerman and Overman (2019) and applicable for robotic autosamplers available in the market as a completely automated solution.
The glass quality is a key factor for success in automated derivatization. This is the most critical step in the workflow since at this point of process analytes polarity plays a central role. In order to reach the necessary detection limits, it is essential to ensure that analytes do not remain on the glass walls during derivatization. The best solution is a first hydrolytic glass with a quality of 29% free silanol groups.
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