Analyses of gibberellins in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water by partial filling-micellar electrokinetic chromatography-mass spectrometry with reversal of electroosmotic flow

Electrophoresis. 2008 May;29(10):2126-34. doi: 10.1002/elps.200700717.


In this paper, we present the results of simultaneous screening of eight gibberellins (GAs) in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water by MEKC directly coupled to ESI-MS detection. During the development of MEKC-MS, partial filling (PF) was used to prevent the micelles from reaching the mass spectrometer as this is detrimental to the MS signal, and a cationic surfactant, cetyltrimethylammonium hydroxide, was added to the electrolyte to reverse the EOF. On the basis of the resolution of the neighboring peaks, different parameters (i.e., the pH and concentration of buffer, surfactant concentrations, length of the injected micellar plug, organic modifier, and applied separation voltage) were optimized to achieve a satisfactory PF-MEKC separation of eight GA standards. Under optimum conditions, a baseline separation of GA standards, including GA1, GA3, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9, GA12, and GA13, was accomplished within 25 min. Satisfactory results were obtained in terms of precision (RSD of migration time below 0.9%), sensitivity (LODs in the range of 0.8-1.9 microM) and linearity (R2 between 0.981 and 0.997). MS/MS with multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) detection was carried out to obtain sufficient selectivity. PF-MEKC-MS/MS allowed the direct identification and confirmation of the GAs presented in coconut water (CW) sample after SPE, while, the quantitative analysis of GAs was performed by PF-MEKC-MS approach. GA1 and GA3 were successfully detected and quantified in CW. It is anticipated that the current PF-MEKC-MS method can be applicable to analyze GAs in a wide range of biological samples.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Beverages / analysis
  • Chromatography, Micellar Electrokinetic Capillary / methods*
  • Cocos / chemistry*
  • Electroosmosis / methods
  • Gibberellins / analysis*
  • Gibberellins / chemistry
  • Gibberellins / standards
  • Reference Standards
  • Solid Phase Extraction
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Gibberellins