Determination of sorbitol in the presence of high amount of mannitol from biological samples


  • Bálint Tomasskovics
  • Viola Horváth
  • József Balla
  • Ferenc Örsi
  • András Szarka


Preparation of intact mitochondria requires the use of an osmoticum in high concentration that preserves the mitochondrial structure and prevents physical swelling and rupture of membranes. For this purpose mannitol is widely accepted as a component of the homogenization medium. The formation of sorbitol in plant mitochondria can be an important element of plant response to salinity and drought. The large difference in the concentration of possibly formed sorbitol and mannitol of the homogenisation medium makes the determination of sorbitol difficult. Gas-chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC-FID), gas-chromatography coupled to quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-QPMS) and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS) using hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) were tested to quantify this highly polar sugar alcohol: Although all three methods offered satisfactory results, the HPLC/MS-MS technique proved to be the best.


plant mitochondria, sorbitol determination, liquid chromatography/tandem mass

Published Online


How to Cite

Tomasskovics, B., Horváth, V., Balla, J., Örsi, F., Szarka, A. “Determination of sorbitol in the presence of high amount of mannitol from biological samples”, Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 58(1), pp. 1–6, 2014.