Carotenoids are important pigments found in foods and biological samples. Among carotenoids, β-carotene is the major carotenoid present in vegetable oils. It plays an important role in the thermal stability of the vegetable oil. We established a simple, precise, specific, sensitive, repeatable, and accurate HPTLC method for the analysis of β-carotene in fortified vegetable oils and assessment of its degradation. Analysis was performed on silica gel HPTLC plates with petroleum ether-hexane-acetone 2:3:1 (
) as mobile phase and densitometric detection. The
of β-carotene was 0.91 and regression analysis showed response was a linear function quantification of amount of β-carotene in the range 100–600 ng (
= 0.99991). The limits of detection and quantification were 0.11 and 0.37 ng, respectively. The thermal degradation (1–5 h at 100°C) of β-carotene in fortified sunflower oil was studied. It was observed that this HPTLC method could be used for efficient analysis and monitoring of the degradation of β-carotene in edible oils.
Carotenoids are among the most widespread and important pigments in living organisms. They are found in common foods and vegetables. The characteristic pattern of alternating single and double bonds in the polyene backbone enables them to absorb excess energy from other molecules. The nature of the specific end groups on carotenoids may effect their polarity, thus solubility ranges from acetone to hexane. Because of this wide range of polarity, specific extraction and separation procedures are required. In these procedures use of planar chromatography in food analysis might seem a minor aspect of carotenoid analysis. This review describes available data on analysis of carotenoids by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). It has been found that petroleum ether, acetone, and hexane are the major mobile phases used for TLC. Thin-layer chromatography was found to have the potential to be the first choice for analysis of carotenoids in biological samples. The uses of other, orthogonal chromatographic methods, for example HPLC, spectroscopy (mass spectroscopy), scanning densitometry, and image analysis with TLC can enable precise analysis of carotenoids.