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Analysis of Tea by Using HPLC /Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry


The AccuTOF™ high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer provides powerful qualitative and quantitative tools that can be applied to HPLC/MS analysis of polyphenols and other compounds in tea.

The combination of high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) with high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) provides powerful capabilities for chemical analysis. HPLC with UV detection relies on wavelength and retention time for peak identification. Here we show how the AccuTOF™ TOFMS with its unique high dynamic range detection system can be used to determine polyphenols (such as catechins), caffeine and related compounds, amino acids, and vitamins in different teas.

Experimental Conditions

Separations were performed by using an Agilent 1100 HPLC system equipped with binary pump and solvent degasser, autosampler, column compartment and diode array detector. The output of the diode array detector was introduced into the APCI source of the JEOL AccuTOF™ time-of-flight LC/MS system, operated at a resolving power of 6,000 (FWHM) in positive-ion mode with an orifice 1 potential of 28 V.

Tea samples included a high-quality green tea, a common brand of black tea, and powdered teas. The HPLC separation made use of a Phenomenex 2mm x 150mm LUNA 5μ C18(2) column and guard column2 operated at 35 deg. C with a solvent flow rate of 0.25 ml/min. Solvent A was 0.1% TFA in water, and sovent B was acetonitrile. The solvent composition was varied from 0% B to 30% B in 30 minutes and held at 30% B until 47 minutes. The autosampler was programmed for 10 μl injections of the tea samples.

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