Differentiation between natural and synthetic taurine using the 13C/12C isotope ratio



Natural taurine is an essential constituent of formula milk for infants and, because of the inferior nutritional value (δ), of synthetic forms, it is important to discriminate between these and taurines derived from a natural source. In this study we evaluated the ability of a method to make this distinction; it consisted of determination of the taurine 13C/12C ratio by means of a precision automated continuous flow mass spectrometric apparatus. This method was found to provide a powerful analytical tool for this purpose.