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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 259217, 7 pages
Research Article

Characterisation of Flavonoid Aglycones by Negative Ion Chip-Based Nanospray Tandem Mass Spectrometry

1School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Cantock's Close, Bristol BS8 1TS, UK
2Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Via do Café S/N, 14040-903 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 26 September 2011; Accepted 20 November 2011

Academic Editor: Michael Niehues

Copyright © 2012 Paul J. Gates and Norberto P. Lopes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Flavonoids are one of the most important classes of natural products having a wide variety of biological activities. There is wide interest in a range of medical and dietary applications, and having a rapid, reliable method for structural elucidation is essential. In this study a range of flavonoid standards are investigated by chip-based negative ion nanospray mass spectrometry. It was found that the different classes of flavonoid studied have a combination of distinct neutral losses from the precursor ion [M-H] along with characteristic low-mass ions. By looking only for this distinct pattern of product ions, it is possible to determine the class of flavonoid directly. This methodology is tested here by the analysis of a green tea extract, where the expected flavonoids were readily identified, along with quercetin, which is shown to be present at only about 2% of the most intense ion in the spectrum.