Application Note: Analysis of 2- and 4-Methylimidazole in Beverages using Alliance HPLC with Mass Detection
17 November 2014

Caramel colorings are complex mixtures that are added to a variety of foods and beverages. The coloring is produced by heating carbohydrates in the presence of ammonia or other reagents. A byproduct of this reaction is the compound 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) that has been identified as a possible carcinogen and is listed as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ by the IARC Monographs. This application note presents a method for therapid analysis (<8.5 min) of 4-MEI and its isomer, 2-MEI using HPLC separation on a Waters CORTECS Column with mass detection.