Presentation Title

Determination of Theobromine in Various Cocoa Products Using a Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer

Faculty Mentor

Jacqueline A. Trischman

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

Location

211

Session

poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

physical_mathematical_sciences

Abstract

Theobromine, or 3,7-dimethylxanthine, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in cocoa products, leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut. Theobromine is an alkaloid that differs from caffeine only by the absence of the N-1 methyl group. In fact, similar to caffeine, theobromine acts as a stimulant to the human nervous system. They both bind to the adenosine receptor, though caffeine has a much stronger affinity. Both act as vasodilators, diuretics, and heart stimulants. The amount of theobromine in chocolate products is not considered dangerous for consumption in healthy individuals, though it can be dangerous for small animals. In the past the quantification of both xanthine alkaloids has been conflated because they are difficult to separate. With the help of an LC-MS-MS instrument, we have developed a method to quickly process a multitude of samples and quantify both caffeine and theobromine levels in various cocoa products, including single-source cocoas, common varieties, and several cocoa-containing products. High variation in amounts of theobromine and caffeine were found among these different types of cocoas. The plan is to involve this method as a tool to teach and familiarize students with the LC-MS-MS instrument.

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Nov 23rd, 8:00 AM Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM

Determination of Theobromine in Various Cocoa Products Using a Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer

211

Theobromine, or 3,7-dimethylxanthine, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in cocoa products, leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut. Theobromine is an alkaloid that differs from caffeine only by the absence of the N-1 methyl group. In fact, similar to caffeine, theobromine acts as a stimulant to the human nervous system. They both bind to the adenosine receptor, though caffeine has a much stronger affinity. Both act as vasodilators, diuretics, and heart stimulants. The amount of theobromine in chocolate products is not considered dangerous for consumption in healthy individuals, though it can be dangerous for small animals. In the past the quantification of both xanthine alkaloids has been conflated because they are difficult to separate. With the help of an LC-MS-MS instrument, we have developed a method to quickly process a multitude of samples and quantify both caffeine and theobromine levels in various cocoa products, including single-source cocoas, common varieties, and several cocoa-containing products. High variation in amounts of theobromine and caffeine were found among these different types of cocoas. The plan is to involve this method as a tool to teach and familiarize students with the LC-MS-MS instrument.