Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Analysis of proanthocyanidin A2 and its presence in various commercial products

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  • Proanthocyanidins (PACs) containing A-type linkages, like those found in cranberry, have been implicated as beneficial phenolic compounds in human health, but much research is still required to better understand their activity fully. One major impediment to progress has been the existence of effective analytical methods for A-type PAC quantification. This thesis summarizes the development of a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analytical method for the determination PAC A2 in phenolic polymer isolates following acid-catalyzed degradation in the presence of excess phloroglucinol. Isolates from concentrated cranberry juice were extensively characterized and molar extinction coefficients were determined for the terminal A2 unit and extension A2-phlorglucinol adduct, in order to provide accurate quantitative information. The method was then used to examine several commercially available products, including cranberry juices, cranberry juice cocktails, concentrated white cranberry juice, cranberry fruit, cranberry nutraceuticals, peanuts, and cinnamon spice. Overall, it was found that the method developed here allowed for reproducible quantification of both extension and terminal A2 units in all the products tested. It was found that based on preliminary analysis, on a per serving basis, cranberry juice contains the highest value of A2 in cranberry products. Finally, comparisons between the different products have raised several additional questions regarding A2.
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