An improved and miniaturized analytical strategy based on μ-QuEChERS for isolation of polyphenols. A powerful approach for quality control of baby foods
An improved and miniaturized quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe (μ-QuEChERS) strategy combined with ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography coupled to a photodiode array detection system (UHPLC-PDA) was developed and optimized for the determination of twelve polyphenols in different baby foods samples. The proposed analytical approach proved to be highly cost-effective and environmentally friendly, since it showed good extraction efficiency using few amounts of sample (0.3 g), organic solvents (1000 μL), clean-up sorbents (87.5 mg) and partitioning salts (0.2 g), producing minimal waste disposal and reducing analysis time. Method performance was validated in terms of selectivity, linearity, limits of detection and quantification, matrix effects, precision and accuracy using different baby food matrices according to their composition. The overall average recoveries ranged from 71 to 100% with relative standard deviations lower than 6% (n = 18). The method was successfully applied to commercial baby food samples (including pureed solids, juices and porridges), and their total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant capacity (RSA) were also investigated. Results allowed characterizing the abundance of the selected polyphenols in the samples, and the highest RSA and TPC were found in the fruit-based baby foods. Thus, this work represents a first approach to determine the nutritional quality of these products.
Authors thank the Rey Juan Carlos University for providing Natalia Casado a mobility grant to perform a pre-doctoral stay in the CQMChemistry Center of Madeira. Rosa Perestrelo and Catarina Silva acknowledge the FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia for their pos-Doc and PhD grants, SFRH/BPD/97387/2013 and SFRH/BD/97039/2013, respectively. The authors also acknowledge the support of FCT under CQM grant PEst-OE/QUI/UI0674/201. Funding through the project M1420-01-0145-FEDER-000005 - Centro de Química da Madeira CQM+ (Madeira 14-20) is also acknowledged.
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