Analysis of Carbohydrates in Food
Feb 07 2020 Read 784 Times
In the food industry, carbohydrate and sugar content are notable for being key factors in determining the nutritional value of food and drink. Being able to quantify certain sugars is of great importance and the European Union requires that nutritional values are indicated on all foodstuffs, (with the exception of unprocessed products and loose products).
Carbohydrates are one of the most important components in many foods; they may be present as isolated molecules or be physically associated or chemically bound to other molecules. Sugars are simple carbohydrates and important for everyday life functions.
Many sugar alcohols are used in confectionery because they give a sweet taste without the calories that sugars normally provide. Sugar alcohols like sorbitol and mannitol are common substitutes for sucrose but their use is well regulated because they can exhibit laxative and diuretic properties. The monosaccharide fructose is the sweetest sugar that one can find in nature, for example in sweet fruits and honey, so it is also important to determine and control its presence. Similarly, lactose is an important disaccharide, found in many dairy products and it is significant to measure and regulate its content and is of particular interest to individuals who may be lactose intolerant.
Ion Chromatography (IC) with Pulsed Amperometric Detection (PAD) from Metrohm can be used to quantify important carbohydrates - with better sensitivities compared to Liquid Chromatography (LC) systems using Refractive Index (RI) detection.
The sample matrix can often present challenges prior to analysis to get the sample into a suitable form for testing. Frequently laboratories analysing different food types will have historical sample preparation procedures, which we can utilise and then a small amount of sample can be injected quickly using a Metrohm 940 Professional Vario IC with cooled 889 IC Sample Centre especially suited to high sample throughputs. Where there is no current sample preparation methodology, then Metrohm may be able to offer an automated in-line sample preparation technique such as ultrafiltration or dialysis, beneficial in the analysis of dairy products.
Metrohm has a flexible approach to column choice and in the case of existing methodologies, then third party columns can be used with the Metrohm hardware, replicating the existing operating procedures in terms of gradient profile and electrochemical parameters. In addition, Metrohm have their own high capacity carbohydrates columns that can be used where a new method is to be developed or an existing one improved. Each Metrohm IC instrument sold, is backed by a dedicated post-sales support team to ensure a seamless installation of the customers’ application. Whether method transfer or new methodology – it is backed by lifetime technical support from Metrohm.
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