National standard "Determination of astaxanthin optical isomers content — Liquid chromatography" was officially promulgated

Date:Jan 12, 2022    |  【 A  A  A 】

The State Administration for Market Regulation and Standardization Administration of China promulgated the announcement of National Standard of People's Republic of China (No. 17, 2021) on December 31, 2021. The "Determination of astaxanthin optical isomers content — Liquid chromatography" jointly drafted by Prof. LIU Jianguo of Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS) and Prof. QIN Song of Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, will be implemented as a recommended national standard (GB/T 38478-2021) from the coming July 1st.

The "Determination of astaxanthin optical isomers content — Liquid chromatography" (GB/T 38478-2021) was proposed and undertaken by China National Institute of Standardization. The standard drafting working group was composed of experts from Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China National Institute of Standardization, Shandong Institute of Standardization, Yunnan Longburei Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Fuqing Branch of Fujian Normal University and Institute of Progress Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This standard has taken 6 years from drafting to promulgation. The drafting task was included in the project of the Standardization Administration of China and undertaken by the research team of Prof. QIN, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The standard (GB/T 38478-2021) consists of eight parts, which made elaborations and provisions in the determination range, principle, reagent materials, instrument and equipment, extraction methods of different samples, enzymatic hydrolysis and determination conditions and procedures, calculation methods, repeatability, limits and standard maps, etc. The relevant research by Dr. SU Fang of Prof. LIU's research team during her postgraduate study at IOCAS provided basic data and technology supports for the establishment of this stand.

Astaxanthin has two chiral centrals at 3- and 3’- position, which making it has three optical isomers, including 3S,3’S、3R,3’S and 3R,3’R. Synthetic astaxanthin is a mixture of three optical isomers (3S,3’S, 3R,3’S and 3R,3’R) with a ratio of 1: 2: 1, whereas natural astaxanthin from different species has significant differences in the composition and ratio of optical isomers. The astaxanthin from yeast Phaffia rhodozyma and alga Haematococcus pluvialis is 3R,3’R and 3S,3’S isomer, respectively. In recent years, the astaxanthin industry has developed rapidly in China, and the market demand is increasing day by day, but its industry standards and national standards are relatively lagging behind. Therefore, it is urgent to develop a simple and accurate analytical method to determine the optical isomers of astaxanthin from different sources and its products, so as to accurately determine the source and product quality of astaxanthin products.

The formulation, promulgation and implementation of the standard (GB/T 38478-2021) will standardize the operational procedures for the analysis and determination of astaxanthin products and provide technical supports for domestic astaxanthin production enterprises to achieve standardized scale production. Meanwhile, it is conducive to the coordination and unification of product quality control management between enterprises and management departments, making Chinses astaxanthin product quality supervision have standards to follow. It is beneficial to the import and export of domestic astaxanthin products and market supervision and management, which can protect the healthy and orderly development of the industry.

Different peak of liquid chromatography stands for a special optical isomer of astaxanthin

National Standard Link: 

(Editor: ZHANG Yiyi)

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