Comparison of three spectrophotometric methods for analysis of egg yolk carotenoids

Food Chem. 2015 Apr 1;172:233-7. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.09.045. Epub 2014 Sep 21.


Carotenoids accumulated in the egg yolk are of importance for two reasons. Firstly they are important pigments influencing customer acceptance and secondly they are essential components with positive health effects either as antioxidants or as precursor of vitamin A. Different analytical methods are available to quantitatively identify carotenoids from egg yolk such as spectrophotometric methods described by AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) and HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography). Both methods have in common that they are time consuming, need a laboratory environment and well trained technical operators. Recently, a rapid lab-independent spectrophotometric method (iCheck, BioAnalyt GmbH, Germany) has been introduced that claims to be less time consuming and easy to operate. The aim of the current study was therefore to compare the novel method with the two standard methods. Yolks of 80 eggs were analysed as aliquots by the three methods in parallel. While both spectrometric methods are only able measure total carotenoids as total ß-carotene, HPLC enables the determination of individual carotenoids such lutein, zeaxanthin, canthaxanthin, ß-carotene and β-apocarotenoic ester. In general, total carotenoids levels as obtained by AOAC were in average 27% higher than those obtained by HPLC. Carotenoid values obtained by the reference methods AOAC and HPLC are highly correlated with the iCheck method with r(2) of 0.99 and 0.94 for iCheck vs. AOAC and iCheck vs. HPLC, respectively (both p<0.001). Bland Altman analysis showed that the novel iCheck method is comparable to the reference methods. In conclusion, the novel rapid and portable iCheck method is a valid and effective tool to determine total carotenoid of egg yolk under laboratory-independent conditions with little trained personal.

Keywords: AOAC; Carotenoid; HPLC; Spectrophotometry; Yolk; iCheck.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Egg Yolk / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Spectrophotometry / methods*


  • Carotenoids