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Structural Analysis of Triacylglycerols by Using a MALDI-TOF/TOF System with Monoisotopic Precursor Selection

A new MALDI-TOF/TOF system with monoisotopic precursor selection was applied to the analysis of triacylglycerols in an olive oil sample. Monoisotopic precursor selection made it possible to obtain product-ion mass spectra without interference from species that differed by a single double bond. Complete structure determination of all triacylglycerols, including structural isomers, was made possible by interpreting the charge-remote fragmentation resulting from high-energy collision-induced dissociation (CID) of the sodiated triacylglycerols.


Triacylglycerols (TAGs or triglycerides) are comprised of three fatty acids esterified with glycerol. Because TAGs are the major components in animal fats and vegetable oils, the analysis of TAGs is biologically important and crucial for quality control of food products.

Recent mass spectrometric approaches to the analysis of TAGs have made use of atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) [1–5] or electrospray ionization (ESI) [6–10] and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).

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