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An Improved HPLC-FLD for Fast and Simple Detection of Ethyl Carbamate in Soy Sauce and Prediction of Precursors

Zhou, Kai, Liu, Yao, Li, Wen-Qian, Liu, Gong-Liang, Wei, Na, Sun, Yuan-Ming, Bai, Wei-Dong, Xu, Zhen-Lin
Food analytical methods 2017 v.10 no.12 pp. 3856-3865
alcohols, arginine, derivatization, detection limit, ethyl carbamate, fluorescence, high performance liquid chromatography, liquids, ornithine, prediction, soy sauce
A high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD) method for ethyl carbamate (EC) determination in Chinese soy sauce was developed and used to predict EC precursors, and extraction, derivatization, and chromatographic conditions were optimized systematically. Under optimal conditions, the limit of detection, linear range, and recoveries were 3.91 μg/L, 12.87–274.87 μg/L, and 81.5–95.4%, respectively. The method precision was less than 8.9% (RSD) and no significant difference was found between EC determinations measured by HPLC-FLD and GC/MS. Using the proposed HPLC-FLD method, the EC contents in Chinese soy sauces ranged from not detected to 64.88 μg/L (n = 19). Except for one soy sauce brand, the EC contents in low-salt solid-state fermented (LSF) soy sauces were lower than those in high-salt liquid fermented (HLF) soy sauces and were mainly affected by alcohol content. Moreover, the free ornithine and total arginine contents were significantly correlated with EC content in the soy sauce products. The results of this work provide a foundation for further study of EC formation and inhibition in Chinese soy sauces.