Triacylglycerols (TAG) are the most important group of compounds present in vegetable oils. These biomolecules, determining the physical, chemical and nutritional properties of the oils, are considered to be good fingerprints for quality and authenticity control. Therefore, TAGs characterization is a very important task in edible oil field, which has been undertaken by different analytical methods.
The analysis of vegetable oils is still dominated by classic determinations, which are however laborious and time-consuming and cannot be used routinely. More recently, advances in MS instrumentations coupled with online separation techniques and data processing have contributed to great expansion of MS in oil study, allowing the development of innovative analytical approaches that exhibit higher sensitivity, accuracy and rapidity in vegetable oils investigations.
In the present contribution, a review of the most relevant applications of novel mass spectrometric techniques, such as ESI and MALDI, both alone and hyphenated with HPLC, used for analysis of the complex TAGs mixture of edible oils is illustrated.