High-efficiency high performance liquid chromatographic analysis of red wine anthocyanins
The analysis of anthocyanins in natural products is of significant relevance in recent times due to the recognised health benefits associated with their consumption. In red grapes and wines in particular, anthocyanins are known to contribute important properties to the sensory (colour and taste), anti-oxidant- and ageing characteristics. However, the detailed investigation of the alteration of these compounds during wine ageing is hampered by the challenges associated with the separation of grape-derived anthocyanins and their derived products. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is primarily used for this purpose, often in combination with mass spectrometric (MS) detection, although conventional HPLC methods provide incomplete resolution. We have previously demonstrated how on-column inter-conversion reactions are responsible for poor chromatographic efficiency in the HPLC analysis of anthocyanins, and how an increase in temperature and decrease in particle size may improve the chromatographic performance. In the current contribution an experimental configuration for the high efficiency analysis of anthocyanins is derived using the kinetic plot method (KPM). Further, it is shown how analysis under optimal conditions, in combination with MS detection, delivers much improved separation and identification of red wine anthocyanins and their derived products. This improved analytical performance holds promise for the in-depth investigation of these influential compounds in wine during ageing. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.