A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method was developed for the simultaneous determination of nine food additives, i.e., acesulfame, saccharin, caffeine, aspartame, benzoic acid, sorbic acid, stevioside, dehydroacetic acid and neotame in red wine. The effects of ion-suppressors, i.e., trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and ammonium acetate (AmAc) on retention behavior of nine food additives in RP-HPLC separation were discussed in detail. The relationships between retention factors of solutes and volume percent of ion-suppressors in the mobile-phase systems of acetonitrile-TFA aqueous solution and acetonitrile-TFA-AmAc aqueous solution were quantitatively established, respectively. The results showed that the ion suppressors had not only an ion suppression effect, but also an organic modification effect on the acidic analytes. The baseline separation of nine food additives was completed by a gradient elution with acetonitrile-TFA(0.01%, v/v)-AmAc(2.5 mmol L(-1)) aqueous solution as the mobile phase. The recoveries were between 80.2 - 99.5% for all analytes with RSDs in the range of 1.5 - 8.9%. The linearities were in the range of 0.2 - 100.0 mg L(-1) with determination coefficients (r(2)) higher than 0.9991 for all analytes. The limits of quantification (LOQs) were between 0.53 - 0.99 mg L(-1). The applicability of the proposed method to detect and quantify food additives has been demonstrated in the analysis of 30 real samples.
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