A novel approach for analyzing underivatized very long chain fatty acids (C16-C26) and other apolar compounds such as triacylglycerols is described. It is based on reversed-phase HPLC separation followed by mass spectrometric detection. Partly miscible solvents are used for stepwise gradient elution starting with a methanol/water and ending with a methanol/n-hexane binary mixture. The developed technique does not need derivatization, and analysis is fast (fatty acids were separated in 2-min-long chromatograms) and robust. The developed method is also very sensitive; a quantitation limit in the low-picogram range was achieved for fatty acids. The separation mechanism and advantages of the suggested technique are discussed and illustrated in the case of blood analysis and plant oil characterization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry