Analysis of Non-Aromatic Organic Acids in Beer by CE and Direct Detection Mode with Diode Array Detection


A method for the analysis of the main non-aromatic organic acids in beer using capillary electrophoresis is presented. In this work, malic, citric, succinic, pyruvic, acetic and lactic acids are separated using a sodium hydrogen phosphate background electrolyte with direct detection mode with a diode array detector. The separation exhibits lower sensitivity than equivalent methods with indirect detection mode, however, the risk of co-migration with unknown compounds in beer matrixes is significantly reduced. This is due to (i) a higher efficiency (250,000-400,000 theoretical plates), (ii) a higher selectivity than any equivalent method using an indirect detection mode, and (iii) the possibility to monitor other wavelengths in parallel (260 nm for example) to check for possible co-migration with phenolic or benzoic acids. This was critical when working with beer samples as an unknown compound absorbing at 200 and 260 nm was detected in the neighbourhood of malic, citric and succinic acids. Such co-migration will not have been detected using single wavelength detection below 200 nm or indirect detection mode.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry


Erny, GL; Rodrigues, JEA; Gil, AM; Barros, AS; Esteves, VI

our authors


The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support from FCT (Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia) with the research project POCTI/CTA/48059/2002. GLE thanks FCT for a postdoctoral grant ( FCT SFRH/BPD/30548/2006). JR acknowledges grant funding from FCT ( FCT SFRH/BD/31056/2006).

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