Rapid and sensitive method for determining free amino acids in honey by gas chromatography with flame ionization or mass spectrometric detection

J Chromatogr A. 2004 Aug 20;1047(1):137-46. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2004.07.013.


This paper describes a rapid, sensitive and specific method for determination of free amino acids in honey involving a new reaction of derivatization and gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionization (FID) and mass spectrometric (MS) detection. The method allows the determination of 22 free amino acids in honey samples in a short time: 8 and 5 min for GC-FID and GC-MS, respectively. Quantitation was performed using Norvaline as internal standard, with detection limits ranging between 0.112 and 1.795 mg/L by GC-FID and between 0.001 and 0.291 mg/L by GC-MS in the selected-ion monitoring mode. The method was validated and applied to a set of 74 honey samples belonging to four different botanical origins: eucaliptus, rosemary, orange and heather. The statistical treatment of data shows a correct classification of different origins over 90%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Honey / analysis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Amino Acids