A method to deconvolute overlapping isotope patterns in positive mode matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was developed to determine ratios of A- to B-type interflavan bonds in proanthocyanidins that were isolated from cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon, Ait.) press cake (c-PAC). Precision and accuracy was validated for binary mixtures of procyanidins A2 and B2. Deconvolution of c-PAC spectra indicated that oligomers with one or more A-type interflavan bonds occur in a higher proportion than oligomers with all B-type interflavan bonds. c-PAC with at least one A-type bond accounted for more than 91% of the oligomers between trimers and undecamers. The c-PAC isotope patterns are highly repeatable, suggesting that the method can be applied to authentication, standardization and efficacy of cranberry products in relationship to urinary tract health. This is the first time MALDI-TOF MS has been used for estimating ratios of A- to B-type bonds in PAC.
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