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ABSTRACT

A sensitive high performance liquid chromatographic method for analysis of (-)epicatechin (3,3′,4′,5,7-pentahydroxyflavan) in cocoa beans is described. Bean samples were extracted in 80% acetone with subsequent sample clean-up on a Waters Associates C18 SEPPAK. Separation of (-)-epicatechin was accomplished on a μBondapak C18 column using a mobile phase of water:methanol:acetic acid (87:8:5). (-)-Epicatechin was detected at 280 nm and quantified by comparing peak height of sample to those of standards. The method demonstrated excellent reproducibility and recoveries of added (-)epicatechin averaged over 90%. UV scans and mass spectrometric anlaysis of collected eluate from the chromatograph provided positive identification of the compound in cocoa bean extracts.