Complete residue analysis of steviol glycosides in food, is a challenge due to nature of the task, i.e., the detection of low steviol glycoside isomer concentrations in complex food commodities, where generic extraction procedures have been used. The challenge is two-fold where low concentrations are present, because they may be used in conjunction with other sweeteners or sugars.
In addition, detection at low concentrations is difficult where one or two of the glycosides are at very high concentrations (e.g. rebaudioside A). Isomers of substances may have different chemical properties – they can have different flavor, as well as possible variability in their absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, and toxicity.
Hence it is necessary to have information on the make up of substances that can contribute to flavor.
An initial highly selective, sensitive screening method could be used, where the focus is only aimed towards qualitative, but much more specific detection is required to determine the sweetener’s purity, as the purity can impact taste. In this application note, we present a unique approach to screen food products for steviol glycosides using ionKey/MS and ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS), which provides unequivocal specificity and sensitivity.