Capillary gas chromatography
Ion trap detector
Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Fatty acids, as their methyl esters (FAMES), are routinely analyzed from a wide variety of plant and animal tissues and fluids. Samples have mainly been analyzed to date using capillary GC with FID detection. However, FID detection is non-specific, and open to misinterpretation. This is particularly important in the analysis of minor lipid components from, e.g. organ tissues, plasma and other body fluids, where non-FAMES impurities or contaminants can be present in relatively high amounts. This suggests that even for routine work, a mass spectral detector is necessary for the unambiguous identification-or rather, recognition-of FAMES. The FAMES analyzer we propose consists of three components: an automatic injector; a medium polarity, high-temperature stable capillary column; a mass spectrometric detector, in our case the Finnigan-MAT ion trap detector (ITD 800). Here, on-column injection allowed controlled sample transfer even for low absolute concentrations of lipids, and a column effluent splitter gave simultaneous qualititative and quantitative analysis. For automatic routine analysis, a mass spectral library routine using a tailor-made library of FAMES spectra of the most common naturally occurring fatty acids, plays an essential role. Library comparison parameters used in the standard ITD software usually give “first hit” recognition over a wide sample dynamic range (ca. 2 pg to 〉 200 ng in the best cases). This gives an absolute recognition even of minor lipid components, especially when combined information from mass spectra and GC retention data is used. By analogy with the now well known concept of the Amino Acid Analyzer, we propose the system described as a FAMES Analyzer. Mass spectrometers like the Finnigan MAT ITD 800 are inexpensive, reliable, sensitive, and easy to operate. Unlike the Amino Acid Analyzer, the FAMES Analyzer needs the specific detection offered by mass spectrometry because the number of acids to be analyzed, including isomers, is much greater.
Type of Medium: