UNIT 11.9 Amino Acid Analysis

  1. Shane M. Rutherfurd1,
  2. G. Sarwar Gilani2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471140864.ps1109s58

Current Protocols in Protein Science

Current Protocols in Protein Science

How to Cite

Rutherfurd, S. M. and Gilani, G. S. 2009. Amino Acid Analysis. Current Protocols in Protein Science. 58:11.9:11.9.1–11.9.37.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

  2. 2

    Health Canada, Nutrition Research Division, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: NOV 2009


Amino acid analysis is used to determine the amino acid content of amino acid–, peptide- and protein-containing samples. With minor exceptions, proteins are long linear polymers of amino acids connected to each other via peptide bonds. The first step of amino acid analysis involves hydrolyzing these peptide bonds. The liberated amino acids are then separated, detected, and quantified. The method was first developed by Moore, Stein and coworkers in the 1950s using HCl acid hydrolysis, and, despite considerable effort by many workers, the basic methodology remains relatively unchanged. This unit provides an overview and strategic planning for amino acid analysis, discussing a range of methodologies and issues. In addition, several common methods used for analysis of l-amino acids are described in detail, including: HCl acid hydrolysis, performic acid oxidation for methionine and cysteine analysis, base hydrolysis for tryptophan analysis, analysis of free amino acids, and analysis of reactive lysine. Curr. Protoc. Protein Sci. 58:11.9.1-11.9.37. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • amino acids;
  • hydrolysis;
  • derivatization;
  • chromatography