Date of Award

5-2012

Level of Access

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Food and Nutrition Sciences

Advisor

L. Brian Perkins

Second Committee Member

Rodney Bushway

Third Committee Member

Scott Collins

Abstract

The research described in this dissertation is centered around the common theme of analytical chemistry method development for quality assurance and control of food ingredients, phytochemicals and immunological protein carriers. Three different medias were studied including hemocyanin from the American lobster (Homarus americanus), capsaicinoids and capsinoids from peppers and acemannan from Aloe vera.

There are currently only a few commercial sources of hemocyanin. Lobster hemocyanin is not available in large volumes, but is currently a byproduct of the lobster meat processing industry. Ultracentrifugation is the only common commercial method used for the purification of hemocyanin. This technique requires two days of processing time and does not allow reliable separation of hemocyanin subunits. Using size exclusion HPLC, several methods were developed to determine quantitative and qualitative properties of hemocyanin. In addition, a method was developed to separate and purify hexamers and dodecamers from the American lobster hemolymph.

Due to their positive health attributes, the recent discovery of capsaicinoid like compounds called capsinoids in particular varieties of peppers have become a popular research topic. The purpose of this research was to develop a rapid analytical method for the quantification of capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, capsiate and dihydrocapsiate. Following the development of this method a variety of peppers were analyzed for capsaicinoid and capsinoid content and the peppers with the highest content of capsinoids were identified for development of natural capsiate and dihydrocapsiate analytical standards. This information was also used to identify subspecies for future natural selective breeding of peppers with high capsinoid content.

The bioactive polysaccharide in Aloe, called acemannan, is known to produce positive skin and digestive health attributes associated when applied topically or ingested. This study tested the feasibility of using several analytical methods for the quality assurance of acemannan and beverage products containing acemannan. Pure acemannan is not available commercially so BiAloe™, an acemannan-containing product, was chosen for use in this study. Methods chosen for analysis included: spectroscopic wet chemistry, HPLC size exclusion, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy. NMR and FTIR proved to be the best methods to determine acemannan quality.

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