PMID: 2592311Nov 1, 1989

Liquid chromatographic determination of sulfite in grapes and selected grape products

Journal - Association of Official Analytical Chemists
Gracia A PerfettiG W Diachenko


A liquid chromatographic (LC) method is described for the determination of sulfite in grapes and certain grape products. Sulfite is extracted from grapes with aqueous formaldehyde solution buffered at pH 5; free sulfite is converted to hydroxymethylsulfonate (HMS), which is extremely stable at pH 3-7. Subsequent heating to 80 degrees C for 30 min converts reversibly bound forms of sulfite to HMS. The extract is then analyzed by reverse-phase ion-pairing liquid chromatography, using a C18 column and a mobile phase of aqueous 0.005 M tetrabutylammonium ion in 0.05 M acetate, pH 4.7, and a flow rate of 1 mL/min. Aqueous KOH is added to the eluate to convert HMS to free sulfite, which is then treated with 5,5'-dithiobis[2-nitrobenzoic acid]. This reaction produces the 3-carboxy-4-nitrothiophenolate anion, which is determined by measurement of electronic absorption at 450 nm. For grapes spiked with HMS at 5-20 ppm (as SO2), recoveries ranged from 92 to 112%, with a coefficient of variation of 4.6%. The method was also used to determine sulfite in various grape products. Results were comparable to those obtained by the AOAC official Monier-Williams method.

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