Gas chromatographic quantification of fatty acid methyl esters: Flame ionization detection vs. electron impact mass spectrometry

Eric D. Dodds, Mark R. McCoy, Lorrie D. Rea, John M. Kennish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

The determination of FAME by GC is among the most commonplace analyses in lipid research. Quantification of FAME by GC with FID has been effectively performed for some time, whereas detection with MS has been used chiefly for qualitative analysis of FAME. Nonetheless, the sensitivity and selectivity of MS methods advocate a quantitative role for GC-MS in FAME analysis-an approach that would be particularly advantageous for FAME determination in complex biological samples, where spectrometric confirmation of analytes is advisable. To assess the utility of GC-MS methods for FAME quantification, a comparative study of GC-FID and GC-MS methods has been conducted. FAME in prepared solutions as well as a biological standard reference material were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS methods using both ion trap and quadrupole MS systems. Quantification by MS, based on total ion counts and processing of selected ions, was investigated for FAME ionized by electron impact. Instrument precision, detection limits, calibration behavior, and response factors were investigated for each approach, and quantitative results obtained by each technique were compared. Although there were a number of characteristic differences between the MS methods and FID with respect to FAME analysis, the quantitative performance of GC-MS compared satisfactorily with that of GC-FID. The capacity to combine spectrometric examination and quantitative determination advances GC-MS as a powerful alternative to GC-FID for FAME analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
JournalLipids
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology

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