GC columns for food analysis

Phenomenex has recently launched a trio of Zebron GC columns specially developed for the analysis of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) in food.

Identification and measurement of these compounds in food products such as cheese, peanut butter, infant formula, cooking oils and oil-based nutritional supplements is increasingly important in meeting labelling requirements and testing for product adulteration.

The Zebron ZB-FAME leads the new trio of columns. This stationary phase offers selectivity targeting a 37-compound mix, in a column that’s much shorter than traditional solutions.

The shorter column reduces run times to about 11 minutes – a decrease of 75% or more – while still providing Rs values of 1.0 or greater.

Its optimised high-cyanopropyl chemistry delivers the required high polarity for the separation of cis/trans FAME isomers and meets the guidelines of AOAC, AOCS and IOC methods.

The columns also come with a guarantee based on Phenomenex’s QC testing protocols, where every column is individually QC-tested against the target 37 compounds for FAME analysis.

"Cis/trans FAME analysis has historically been carried out with long columns, which produce corresponding long run times," explains Kristen Parnell from Phenomenex. "With our innovative new chemistry, we've been able to improve the separations to such a degree that they can be carried out on far shorter columns, saving analysts up to 45 minutes per run."

The new chemistry is stable enough to withstand temperatures as high as 280˚C, enabling inclusion of column baking steps to remove contaminants traditionally left behind when analysing food samples, improving column lifetime.

Second in the trio is Zebron ZB-88 – a new GC alternative to other 88-phase columns for the separation of cis/trans isomers. This column is well suited for the analysis of olive and hydrogenated oils.

The third new column, Zebron ZB-23, is a cost-effective alternative to existing 23-phase columns for the separation of cis/trans isomers in a group of products that includes omega-3 and fish oils.

Both the ZB-88 and ZB-23 columns can be used in direct substitution for traditional products recommended for use with regulatory methods.

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