• ion-pair LC-MS;
  • metabolite profiling;
  • tomato;
  • umami;
  • 5′-ribonucleotides

Abstract:  An ion-pair LC-ESI-MS method was developed capable of analyzing various reported umami or umami-enhancing compounds, including glutamic acid and 5′-ribonucleotides. The method was validated using tomato and potato samples and showed overall good analytical performance with respect to selectivity, detection limit, linearity, and repeatability. The method was applied to various tomato samples resulting in concentrations of glutamic acid and 5′-ribonucleotides that were in good comparison with literature. The methodology might also be used for the discovery of new umami (enhancing) compounds in an untargeted mode. This was to a certain extent demonstrated for tomato samples by correlating all peaks observed with the ion-pair liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method to sensory properties using multivariate statistics.

Practical Application:  This study describes the development and application of a LC-MS method, which can be used to quantify several known umami (enhancing) compounds in various foods. Furthermore, the method might be useful for the discovery of new umami (enhancing) compounds.