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Analysis of unauthorized Sudan dyes in food by high-performance thin-layer chromatography

Schwack, Wolfgang, Pellissier, Elodie, Morlock, Gertrud
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2018 v.410 no.22 pp. 5641-5651
Curcuma, Sudan dyes, azo dyes, cost effectiveness, curry, detection limit, food industry, food safety, paprika, pastes, product authenticity, sauces, screening, silica gel, spectrometers, statistical analysis, thin layer chromatography, ultraviolet radiation
Food authenticity and food safety are of high importance to organizations as well as to the food industry to ensure an accurate labeling of food products. Respective analytical methods should provide a fast screening and a reliable cost-efficient quantitation. HPTLC was pointed out as key analytical technique in this field. A new HPTLC method applying caffeine-impregnated silica gel plates was developed for eight most frequently found fat-soluble azo dyes unauthorizedly added to spices, spice mixtures, pastes, sauces, and palm oils. A simple post-chromatographic UV irradiation provided an effective sample cleanup, which took 4 min for up to 46 samples in parallel. The method was trimmed to enable 23 simultaneous separations within 20 min for quantitation or 46 separations within 5 min for screening. Linear (4–40 ng/band) or polynomial (10–200 ng/band) calibrations of the eight azo dyes revealed high correlation coefficients and low standard deviations. Limits of detection and quantification were determined to be 2–3 and 6–9 ng/zone, respectively. After an easy sample extraction, recoveries of 70–120% were obtained from chili, paprika, and curcuma powder as well as from chili sauce, curry paste, and palm oil spiked at low (mainly 25–50 mg/kg) and high levels (150–300 mg/kg). For unequivocal identification, the compound in a suspect zone was eluted via a column into the mass spectrometer. This resulted in the hyphenation HPTLC-vis-HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS. Graphical abstract Simplified clean-up by UV irradiation for Sudan dye analysis in food by HPTLC-vis-HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS.