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Validation of an LC–MS/MS method for the quantification of choline-related compounds and phospholipids in foods and tissues

Journal of Chromatography B
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2012.10.038
  • Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography (Hilic)
  • Lc–Ms/Ms
  • Method Validation
  • Choline
  • Phospholipids
  • Egg Yolk


Abstract A hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (HILIC LC–MS/MS) method was developed and validated to simultaneously quantify six aqueous choline-related compounds and eight major phospholipids classes in a single run. HILIC chromatography was coupled to positive ion electrospray mass spectrometry. A combination of multiple scan modes including precursor ion scan, neutral loss scan and multiple reaction monitoring was optimized for the determination of each compound or class in a single LC/MS run. This work developed a simplified extraction scheme in which both free choline and related compounds along with phospholipids were extracted into a homogenized phase using chloroform/methanol/water (1:2:0.8) and diluted into methanol for the analysis of target compounds in a variety of sample matrices. The analyte recoveries were evaluated by spiking tissues and food samples with two isotope-labeled internal standards, PC-d3 and Cho-d3. Recoveries of between 90% and 115% were obtained by spiking a range of sample matrices with authentic standards containing all 14 of the target analytes. The precision of the analysis ranged from 1.6% to 13%. Accuracy and precision was comparable to that obtained by quantification of selected phospholipid classes using 31P NMR. A variety of sample matrices including egg yolks, human diets and animal tissues were analyzed using the validated method. The measurements of total choline in selected foods were found to be in good agreement with values obtained from the USDA choline database.

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