DescriptionThermally processed food and biofuels obtained from thermal treatment of biomass are chemically remarkably similar. In both materials primary and secondary metabolites of plant or microbial origin including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and secondary metabolite are chemically converted into complex mixtures, which cannot be resolved by classical separation science. Using modern mass spectrometry (MS) with ultimate resolution power several tens of thousands of chemical compounds can be resolved therefore providing for the first time a detailed insight into the composition of such enigmatic materials. Using novel data interpretation approaches such as elemental ratio analysis (van Krevelen plot), mass defect analysis (Kendrick plots) or homologous series analysis allow a chemically meaningful interpretation of such complex mixtures. Based on high resolution MS data hypothesis can be formulated accounting for the chemical composition of such complex mixtures and accounting for the mechanisms of formation. Such hypothesis can in turn be probed by targeted tandem mass spectrometry to obtain more detailed insight into novel structures formed thereby supporting the initial hypothesis. The three-day course will provide an overview on the capabilities of modern mass spectrometry suitable for all scientists involved in the characterization of biological materials and derived materials such as biofuels. It will be divided as follows: Day 1: Introduction to modern mass spectrometry Basic technical methods of modern mass spectrometry will be introduced including methods of ionization (MALDI, ESI, APCI etc), mass detectors (FT-ICR, TOF, ion trap, triple quadrupole, magnetic sector etc) and coupling to chromatographic methods. Basic information obtained from mass spectra will be discussed including determination of molecular formula, fragmentation, data base searches and spectra interpretation with exercises. Day 2: High resolution MS in the analysis of processed food and biofuels Examples will be provided of processed food analysis including the analysis of black tea thearubigins, caramel, baked bread and roasted coffee along with analysis of biofuels obtained from microalgae. Interpretation approaches of high resolution MS data containing tens of thousands of signals will be reviewed discussed and practiced in exercises. Day 3: Targeted tandem mass spectrometry The principles of tandem mass spectrometry will be reviewed and examples provided and discussed for structure elucidation of natural products from dietary sources and food processing products. Examples will be taken mainly from coffee chemistry (chlorogenic acids) and carbohydrate chemistry illustrating the power of modern MS to elucidate regio- and stereoisomeric compounds unambiguously in complex mixtures.
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