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Vitamine research


The main interest of this research focuses on the development of a stable and believable method to analyze folates in plant. Folates are very important to human health and deficiency can cause coronary heart deseases and stroke, CVD, Neural Tube Defects (NTDs), cancer and  birth defects.The source of folates for humans is mainly from plant food because humans canít synthesize folate. Getting a stable and believable method to analyze folate is the first and important step when we try to control and increase the content of folate in the plant. Our research is challenging the following difficulties:

  1. Separation of all forms of folates (at least 64 forms if the number of glutamate residues is 8), moreover, there exists some that have not been identified up till now.
  2. Shortage of a sensitive detection that can respond to all forms of folates.

  3. Very unstable, especially with light, oxygen, heat, different pH and the presence of endogenous folate conjugase in plants

  4. Difficulty to quantitatively extract folates from complex plant matrices.

  5. Very low content of folate in plant material.

To overcome these challenges, chromatographic techniques such as HPLC-DAD, HPLC-FD (fluorescence detector), and HPLC-MS will be exploited.

Figure: Chemical structures of various folates:

(By Guo Fang Zhang)