Supercritical fluid chromatography as a rapid single-step method for the determination of mineral oil saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons in purified mineral oils for food and cosmetics applications

Alan Rodrigo García-Cicourel*, Bas van de Velde, Gerry Roskam, Hans-Gerd Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Mineral oil hydrocarbons are used in the consumer goods sector for the elaboration of a wide range of foods and cosmetics. Traditional methods for determining their levels and composition are time consuming and laborious, besides requiring complex instrumentation. Here a simple and fast method was developed that uses columns packed with silver-modified silica in supercritical fluid chromatography with flame ionization and UV detection (SFC-FID/UV) for the determination of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) in purified mineral oil samples. The method requires no sample preparation apart from dilution. Direct quantification of MOSH and MOAH was possible for samples with MOSH/MOAH ratios around one. For other samples deconvolution of the MOSH and MOAH humps in the FID chromatogram using the UV signal was needed since baseline separation of the two fractions could not be obtained. Validation of the method performance showed an excellent linearity (R2 > 0.9995) in the range of concentrations tested (2.5–100 mgmL−1) and a better repeatability than the standard methods (<5%). MOAH detection limits were better than 0.36% MOAH, which makes the method sufficiently sensitive for analysis of all but the highest purity mineral oils. The proposed SFC-FID/UV method was suitable for the analysis of mineral oils with viscosities and molecular weights below approximately 56 mm2s−1 and 450 gmol−1. The quantitative results of the new method were not statistically significantly different from those obtained with the standard SPE-GC-FID method where the new method has the advantages of a better repeatability, simpler operation and a significantly shortened analysis time. This new method could potentially also be used for the analysis of mineral oil contaminations in consumer products such as foods. However, in this case additional sample clean-up and preconcentration steps are needed for reducing matrix interferences from e.g. triglycerides and olefins and for improving the detection limits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number460713
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Volume1614
Early online date15 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020

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