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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Measurement of Food Flavonoids by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography: a Review

Authors
item Merken, Howard
item Beecher, Gary

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 1999
Publication Date: March 1, 2000
Citation: Merken, H.M., Beecher, G.R. 2000. Measurement of food flavonoids by high-performance liquid chromatography: a review. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 48(3):577-599.

Interpretive Summary: The flavonoids are plant polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables and grains and have high antioxidant capacity which has been associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases. Divided into several subclasses, the flavonoids include the anthocyanidins, pigments chiefly responsible for the red and blue colors of fruits, fruit juices, wines, and flowers; the catechins, concentrated in tea; the flavanones and flavanone glycosides, found in citrus and honey; and the flavones, flavonols, and flavonol glycosides, found in tea, fruits vegetables, and honey. Understanding the potential association between the ingestion of individual flavonoids and the reduced risk of chronic disease requires the ability to measure flavonoids in the food supply and to develop databases of this information. Many high-performance liquid chromatography systems (HPLC) have been developed for the detection and quantification of flavonoids across one, two, or three subclasses. A summary of the various HPLC and sample preparation methods are tabulated in this review. Perusal of the data suggest that a single method is not available for the measurement of flavonoids in all subclasses. This review will serve as a reference for scientists interested in the analysis of flavononids in foods and diets.

Technical Abstract: The flavonoids are plant polyphenols found frequently in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Divided into several subclasses, they include the anthocyanidins, pigments chiefly responsible for the red and blue colors in fruits, fruit juices, wines, and flowers; the catechins, concentrated in tea; the flavanones and flavanone glycosides, found in citrus and honey; and the flavones, flavonols, and flavonol glycosides, found in tea, fruits, vegetables, and honey. Known for their hydrogen-donating antioxidant activity as well as their ability to complex divalent transition metal cations, flavonoids are propitious to human health. Computer controlled high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has become the analytical method of choice. Many systems have been developed for the detection and quantification of flavonoids across one, two, or three subclasses. A summary of the various HPLC and sample preparation methods that have been employed to quantify individual flavonoids within a subclass or across several subclasses are tabulated in this review.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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