Work on developing an instrumental system for total analysis of triglycerides and phospholipids is presented. Initial chromatographic analysis using reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography on C(,6)-bonded, 5 (mu)m silica stationary phase and acetonitrile-water (and dilute phosphoric acid with phospholipids) mobile phase is demonstrated. The Kovats index is shown to allow correlation of structure to retention behavior. An ultraviolet absorbance detector ((lamda)(,195m,)) and novel post-column reaction detector (p.c.r.) based on saponification, periodate oxidation and derivatization using a new class of reagents are used for detection. The p.c.r. is shown to be sensitive to samples in the lower nanomole-per-injection range.