Identification of benzalkonium chloride in commercial grapefruit seed extracts

J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Sep 21;53(19):7630-6. doi: 10.1021/jf0514064.


Commercial grapefruit seed extracts (GSE) were extracted with chloroform. The solvent was evaporated, and the resulting solid was subsequently analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI/MS), tandem mass spectrometry (ESI/MS/MS), and elemental analysis (by proton-induced X-ray emission analysis). Three major constituents were observed by HPLC and were identified as benzyldimethyldodecylammonium chloride, benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride, and benzyldimethylhexadecylammonium chloride. This mixture of homologues is commonly known as benzalkonium chloride, a widely used synthetic antimicrobial ingredient used in cleaning and disinfection agents.

MeSH terms

  • Benzalkonium Compounds / analysis*
  • Chloroform
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Citrus paradisi / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission


  • Benzalkonium Compounds
  • Plant Extracts
  • Chloroform