Use of accurate mass full scan mass spectrometry for the analysis of anthocyanins in berries and berry-fed tissues

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3910-5. doi: 10.1021/jf902267v.


Anthocyanins in extracts from raspberries and blueberries were analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC coupled to a high-resolution Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer (HR-MS) with a resolution of 100,000, operated with an electrospray source in the positive ionization mode. As consumption of anthocyanin-rich berry extracts has been associated with improved cognitive function, brain extracts from European greenfinches ( Carduelis chloris ) that had been fed one blackberry daily for a period of 2 weeks were analyzed by both HPLC with traditional tandem MS in the selected reaction monitoring mode and HPLC-HR-MS. Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside was detected in the brain extracts by both methods, but because of its high level of selectivity, HR-MS was ca. 200-fold more sensitive. A further advantage of HR-MS is that unlike MS-SRM it enables both targeted and nontargeted compounds to be detected and much lower limits of detection are achieved without compromising the selectivity of the analysis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / analysis*
  • Birds / physiology*
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Plant Extracts