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, 89 (4), 1138-46

Analysis of Isoflavones in Foods and Dietary Supplements

  • PMID: 16915857

Analysis of Isoflavones in Foods and Dietary Supplements

Pierluigi Delmonte et al. J AOAC Int.


Isoflavones are phytochemicals found in many plants. Because of their structural similarity to beta-estradiol, health benefits of isoflavones have been evaluated in age-related and hormone-dependent diseases. Daidzein, genistein, and glycitein are present as free forms or derivatives in foods containing soy or soy protein extracts. The analysis of isoflavones has become more complex, because preparations contain isoflavones from multiple sources (e.g., red clover, kudzu). Red clover contains primarily formononetin and biochanin A, while kudzu extracts, which are becoming increasingly common in dietary supplements, contain puerarin and daidzein, among other components. Isoflavones are present in foods and dietary supplements as free compounds, glucoside derivatives, 6"-O-malonyl-7-O-beta-D-glucoside derivatives, and 6"-O-acetyl-7-O-beta-D-glucoside derivatives. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/tandem mass spectrometry has been applied to the identification of isoflavone derivatives based on the fragmentation pattern of the parent ion, providing high selectivity and sensitivity in the quantitation of isoflavones in complex mixtures. HPLC with ultraviolet detection is often chosen for routine analysis, but a preliminary acid or basic hydrolysis of isoflavone derivatives is often required for the investigation of samples containing extracts from multiple sources. Several internal standards have been used in the analysis of isoflavones from a single botanical source (e.g., soy, red clover), but the identification of a general internal standard remains a challenging process.

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