Extraction and quantification of phytoestrogens in foods using automated solid-phase extraction and LC/MS/MS

Anal Chem. 2007 Dec 1;79(23):9234-9. doi: 10.1021/ac701732r. Epub 2007 Nov 2.


Phytoestrogens are a group of polyphenolic plant metabolites that can induce biological responses. Their bioactivity is based on their similarity to 17beta-estradiol and their ability to bind to the beta-estrogen receptor. Although epidemiological data are inconclusive, phytoestrogens are considered to be beneficial for a variety of conditions, for example, hormone-related cancers like breast and prostate cancer. To investigate the biological effects of these compounds and to assess the exposure of larger cohorts or the general public, reliable data on the phytoestrogen content of food is necessary. Previously, food analysis for phytoestrogens was performed using either HPLC-UV or GC/MS. Here, we describe the development of the first generic method for the analysis of phytoestrogens in food, using automated solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The presented method shows a good reproducibility and can be easily adapted to other phytoestrogens if required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Phytoestrogens / analysis
  • Phytoestrogens / isolation & purification*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Phytoestrogens