Identification of β-Carotene Oxidation Products Produced by Bleaching Clay Using UPLC-ESI-MS/MS

Andrew J Hambly, Jeroen S Van Duijneveldt, Paul J Gates*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The removal of plant pigments such as β-carotene is an aspect of vegetable oil processing often desired by the food and pharmaceutical industries. Adsorption of β-carotene to acid-activated clay (AAC) is a well-established method for purification. Despite this, the removal mechanism of β-carotene is not well understood. UPLC-MS/MS analysis of surface compounds extracted from β-carotene-AAC (BC-AAC) complexes show that AAC acts as an oxidiser. Oxidation products detected included canthaxanthin and 3',4'-didehydro-β-caroten-4-one. AAC had surface water exchanged with an 18O labelled water and was then exposed to β-carotene. Carotenoids labelled with 18O were produced from this reaction, suggesting surface water is necessary for β-carotene removal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129455
Number of pages8
JournalFood Chemistry
Early online date3 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr Christopher Arthur who assisted in development of the UPLC method. AH was funded by the EPSRC (grant: EP/N509619/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • β-Carotene
  • Oxidation
  • Vegetable oil
  • Acid-activated clay


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