Phytochem Anal 2011 Nov-Dec;22(6):555-63. Epub 2011 Mar 24.
Institute for Food and Agriculture Research-IRTA, Food Technology, Finca Camps i Armet s/n, Monells, 17121 Girona, Catalonia, Spain.
Introduction: Lettuce is a widely consumed vegetable and a good source of phenolic compounds. Several factors (genetic, agronomical and environmental) can influence the lettuce composition; their effects are not completely defined and more studies are needed on this topic.
Objective: To develop an improved ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method to quantify the main target intact phenolic compounds in lettuce.
Methodology: UHPLC identification of the compounds was supported by PAD spectra and MS(n) analyses. Quantification was carried out by PAD, by creating matrix-matched calibration curves at the specific wavelength for each compound.
Results: Sample pretreatment was simplified, with neither purification nor hydrolysis steps. Chromatographic conditions were chosen to minimise matrix interferences and to give a suitable separation of the major phenolic compounds within 27 min. The method allowed the quantification of 11 intact phenolic compounds in Romaine lettuces, including phenolic acids (caffeoyl and p-coumaroyl esters) and flavonoids (quercetin glycosides). Four p-coumaroyl esters were tentatively identified and quantified for the first time in lettuce.
Conclusion: The main intact phenolic compounds, including four novel p-coumaroyl esters, were simultaneously quantified in lettuce with optimal performances and a reduced total time of analysis. These findings make headway in the understanding of the lettuce phytochemicals with potential nutritional relevance.