We evaluated menaquinone contents in a large set of 62 fermented dairy products samples by using a new liquid chromatography method for accurate quantification of lipo-soluble vitamin K(2), including distribution of individual menaquinones. The method used a simple and rapid purification step to remove matrix components in various fermented dairy products 3 times faster than a reference preparation step. Moreover, the chromatography elution time was significantly shortened and resolution and efficiency were optimized. We observed wide diversity of vitamin K(2) contents in the set of fermented dairy products, from undetectable to 1,100 ng/g of product, and a remarkable diversity of menaquinone forms among products. These observations relate to the main microorganism species currently in the different fermented product technologies. The major form in this large set of fermented dairy products was menaquinone (MK)-9, and contents of MK-9 and MK-8 forms were correlated, that of MK-9 being around 4 times that of MK-8, suggesting that microorganisms able to produce MK-9 also produce MK-8. This was not the case for the other menaquinones, which were produced independently of each other. Finally, no obvious link was established between MK-9 content and fat content or pH of the fermented dairy products.
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