Influence of sample processing on the analysis of carotenoids in maize
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We performed a number of tests with the aim to develop an effective extraction method for the analysis of carotenoid content in maize seed. Mixtures of methanol–ethyl acetate (6:4, v/v) and methanol–tetrahydrofuran (1:1, v/v) were the most effective solvent systems for carotenoid extraction from maize endosperm under the conditions assayed. In addition, we also addressed sample preparation prior to the analysis of carotenoids by liquid chromatography (LC). The LC response of extracted carotenoids and standards in several solvents was evaluated and results were related to the degree of solubility of these pigments. Three key factors were found to be important when selecting a suitable injection solvent: compatibility between the mobile phase and injection solvent, carotenoid polarity and content in the matrix.