Mass Spectrometry of 3-Pyridylcarbinol ('picolinyl')
Esters of Fatty Acids

My favourite type of derivative for identification of fatty acids by GC-MS is the 3‑pyridylcarbinol ester, at least in mass spectrometry terms, although some would argue in favour of DMOX derivatives. Personal opinions aside, it is always advisable to prepare more than one type of derivative for analysis with novel samples. The relatively high molecular weight of 3-pyridylcarbinol esters means that higher column temperatures are required than with other derivatives, but many of the modern polar stationary phases are sufficiently stable thermally to cope. In addition to analysis by GC, they can be separated by reversed-phase HPLC under appropriate conditions as described here... Please note that the term 'picolinyl' ester is inaccurate and is best avoided as explained in our introductory page. These web pages are updated whenever new information and mass spectra become available.

Recommended Book: Christie, W.W. and Han, X. Lipid Analysis - Isolation, Separation, Identification and Lipidomic Analysis (4th edition), 446 pages (Oily Press, Woodhead Publishing and now Elsevier) (2010) - at Science Direct.

© Author: William W. Christie LipidWeb icon
Updated: November 15th, 2023 Contact/credits/disclaimer