• GC;
  • GC-MS;
  • Methylation of fatty acids;
  • Antioxidant;
  • Artifacts


Methyl esters were synthesized from lipid extracted by a modified Bligh and Dyer technique. The lipid was saponified and the free fatty acids methylated using boron trifluoride in methanol. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT; 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol) was added to the initial sample and to the extracted lipid prior to methyl ester synthesis.

Under these conditions, the BHT was derivatized to a range of compounds, some of which can result in misinterpretation of the GC trace.

Three components have been characterized by mass spectroscopy. Two of these, which eluted slightly before 16:0 on a polar column, were shown to be 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methoxyphenol and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methoxy-methylphenol. The third component, which coeluted with 15:0 on the same column, is 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methoxy-5-hydroxyphenol.