Isolation and analysis of vitamin B12 from plant samples

Food Chem. 2017 Feb 1;216:301-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.08.037. Epub 2016 Aug 16.


Based on increased demands of strict vegetarians, an investigation of vitamin B12 content in plant sources, was carried out. The vitamin B12 concentration was determined by RP-HPLC with UV detection, after prior matrix isolation by immunoaffinity chromatography (IAC). Vitamin B12 was extracted in the presence of sodium cyanide, to transform all forms of cobalamin into cyanocobalamin. Diode array detector was used to monitor vitamin B12, after its chromatographic separation under gradient elution with a mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile and trifluoroacetic acid 0.025% (w/v). The method demonstrated excellent linearity with a limit of detection 0.004μg/ml. The method precision was evaluated for plant samples and it was below 0.7% (n=6). Significant amounts of vitamin B12 in plants were detected in Hippophae rhamnoides (37μg/100g dry weight), in Elymus (26μg/100g dry weight) and in Inula helenium (11μg/100g dry weight).

Keywords: Frankia alni; HPLC-MS/MS; HPLC-UV; Hippophae rhamnoides; Immunoaffinity chromatography (IAC); Plant-based foods; Vitamin B(12) (cobalamin).

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Affinity / methods
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Elymus* / chemistry
  • Frankia* / chemistry
  • Hippophae* / chemistry
  • Vitamin B 12 / analysis
  • Vitamin B 12 / isolation & purification*
  • Vitamin B Complex / analysis
  • Vitamin B Complex / isolation & purification


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Vitamin B 12