The growing demand in natural matrices that represent a source of dietary and nutraceutical molecules has led to an increasing interest in Cannabis sativa, considered to be a multipurpose, sustainable crop. Particularly, the considerable content in essential fatty acids (FAs) makes its derived-products useful food ingredients in the formulation of dietary supplements. In this research, the FA and triacylglycerol (TAG) composition of hempseed oils and flours were investigated using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and flame ionization detection as well as liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS), respectively. Furthermore, a recently introduced linear retention index (LRI) approach in LC was successfully employed as a useful tool for the reliable identification of TAG species. A total of 30 FAs and 62 glycerolipids were positively identified in the investigated samples. Relative quantitative analyses confirmed linoleic acid as the most abundant component (50-55%). A favorable omega6/omega3 ratio was also measured in hemp-derived products, with the α-linolenic acid around 12-14%. Whereas, γ-linolenic acid was found to be higher than 1.70%. These results confirm the great value of Cannabis sativa as a source of valuable lipids, and the further improvement of the LRI system paves the way for the automatization of the identification process in LC.
Keywords: GC-FID/MS; UHPLC-MS; fatty acids; hempseed flour; hempseed oil; industrial hemp; linear retention indices; lipids; triacylglycerols.