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Enhanced Method for Monitoring Hydroxymethylfurfural Levels in Food and Biomass

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The application note, Determination of Hydroxymethylfurfural in Honey and Biomass, demonstrates that this method has a broad linear range, high precisions, and low detection limits. This system configuration requires only addition of deionized water for continuous operation.

HMF is naturally found in many foods, such as honey, and can increase during cooking or processing. The concentration of HMF can indicate food quality and authenticity, and some countries have proposed limits to its content in food. In addition, HMF formed during the treatment of biomass, e.g., corn stover to produce biofuels can inhibit fermentation, reducing yields. It is also used as a starting material to produce other chemicals currently derived from crude oil.

This application note describes the use of a Dionex ICS-3000 system with a CarboPac® PA1 column, electrolytically generated hydroxide eluent, and electrochemical detection with a disposable Au-on-polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) working electrode. The CarboPac PA1 is a high-capacity, rugged column suitable for determining mono and disaccharides, and has high resolution for HMF in a wide variety of matrices. The disposable Au working electrode provides consistently high detector response, assuring greater instrument-to-instrument and lab-to-lab reproducibility. The HPAE-PAD-based HMF analysis method described in AN 270 is accurate, reliable, and applicable to on-line monitoring of HMF levels in food and biomass applications.