Journal Highlight: A simple headspace GC/MS method for the quantitative determination of the release of the antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene from chewing gum

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  • Published: May 8, 2017
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
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thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: A simple headspace GC/MS method for the quantitative determination of the release of the antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene from chewing gum

A headspace GC/MS method has been devised for measuring two common antioxidants in chewing gum as a model of a complex food matrix.

A simple headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry method for the quantitative determination of the release of the antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene from chewing gum

Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2017, 31, 859-864
Enrico Davoli, Antonio Bastone, Giancarlo Bianchi, Mario Salmona and Luisa Diomede

Abstract: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are widely used to prevent oxidation and rancidity in foodstuffs, pharmaceutical preparations and cosmetic formulations. Although their safety has been thoroughly investigated, possible endocrine side-effects have been suggested. A useful method for the determination of BHA and BHT in foods is needed to estimate their daily intake through the diet. We selected commercial chewing gums as a model of a complex food matrix and developed a new method based on gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. This allows the determination of 130 pg/gum of BHA and 9 pg/gum of BHT. Analysis of different chewing gums from the European market indicated that the two antioxidants were never used together and that the content of BHA was in the range of 220–348 μg/gum and BHT ranged from 278 up to 479 μg/gum. These amounts correspond to 86–157 mg/kg gum for BHA and 170–185 mg/kg gum for BHT, and are both within the maximum levels established by the European Food Safety Authority. Chewing a piece of gum for 15 min resulted in the release of up to 28% of BHA, but no release of BHT was detectable. A new, simple and rapid method for the determination of BHA and BHT in chewing gums was described. This analytical method, based on headspace sampling, did not require the extraction of antioxidants from chewing gum samples, assuring the absence of any gum material contaminants that might affect the instrumentation. It is also automatable, employing a sequential automatic sampler. This method could be of interest to academic researchers and to food industrialists looking for a new methodological approach for BHA and BHT determination in foodstuffs with complex matrices.

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