Profiling of organic acids during fermentation by ultraperformance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Keri Lyn Ross, Travis T. Tu, Sean Smith, Joseph J. Dalluge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A method has been developed for rapid quantification of organic acids using ultraperformance liquid chromatography/ electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/ ESI-MS-MS) to monitor the metabolism of 10 organic acids during microbial fermentation. Because comprehensive chromatographic separation is not required, analysis time is less than traditional ion chromatography assays, with complete organic acid analyses by UPLC/ ESI-MS-MS being achieved in less than 3 min. Quantification is accomplished using nine isotopically labeled organic acids as internal standards. Intrasample precisions for organic acid measurements in fermentation supernatants using this method average 8.9% (RSD). Calibration curves are linear over the range of 0.06-100 μg/mL, and detection limits are estimated at 0.06-1 μg/ mL. This method has the potential to demonstrate correlation of organic acid consumption and production by microorganisms with observed growth profiles, novel media formulations, and cellular growth events. Data visualization software has been used to profile organic acid levels during fermentation and correlate these profiles to nutrient supplementation protocols employed during microbial production. The potential use of this capability in computational modeling and simulation of microbial metabolism to accelerate the bioprocess development cycle is recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4840-4844
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

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