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Quantification of sugars and organic acids in tomato fruits

Agius, Carlos, von Tucher, Sabine, Poppenberger, Brigitte, Rozhon, Wilfried
MethodsX 2018 v.5 pp. 537-550
absorption, breeding, citric acid, flavor, fructose, fruits, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, glucose, high performance liquid chromatography, lactose, malic acid, phosphoric acid, protocols, refractive index, solid phase extraction, standard deviation, tomatoes
Sugar and organic acid contents are major factors for tomato fruit flavour and are important breeding traits. Here we provide an improved protocol for accurate quantification of the main sugars, glucose and fructose, and the organic acids, citric acid and malic acid, present in tomato. The tomato extract is spiked with lactose and tricarballylic acid as internal standards and loaded onto a NH2 solid phase extraction (SPE) column. The sugars appear in the flow-through and are subsequently analysed by HPLC using a Nucleodur NH2 column and a refractive index detector. The organic acids bind to the SPE column and are eluted with 400 mM phosphoric acid. For analysis, the organic acids are separated by HPLC using a Nucleodur C18ec column and detected by UV absorption at 210 nm. The method shows excellent inter-day and intra-day reproducibility for glucose, fructose and citric acid with standard deviations of 1–5%. Quantification of citric acid by HPLC and GC–MS showed perfect agreement with a deviation of less than 3%.Simple method for quantification of glucose, fructose, citric acid and malic acid in tomato. Efficient removal of interfering compounds by solid phase extraction. High intra and inter-day reproducibility.