Method for the identification of lipid classes based on referenced kendrick mass analysis

Larry A. Lerno, J. Bruce German, Carlito B Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


A rapid method for the determination of lipid classes with high sensitivity is described. The referenced Kendrick mass defect (RKMD) and RKMD plots are novel adaptations of the Kendrick mass defect analysis that allows for the rapid identification of members of a homologous series in addition to identifying the lipid class. Assignment of lipid classes by the RKMD method is accomplished by conversion of the lipid masses to the Kendrick mass scale and then referencing the converted masses to each lipid class. Referencing of the masses to a given lipid class is achieved by first subtracting the heteroatom and lipid backbone contributions to the mass defect, leaving behind the contribution to the mass by the fatty acid constituents. The final step in the referencing makes use of spacing differences in mass defects between members of the same Kendrick class to identify members of the lipid class being referenced. The end result of this is that a lipid belonging to the class being referenced will have an integer RKMD with the value of the integer being the degrees of unsaturation in the lipid. The RKMD method was able to successfully identify the lipids in an idealized data set consisting of 160 lipids drawn from the glyceride and phosphoglyceride classes. As a real world example the lipid extract from bovine milk was analyzed using both accurate mass measurements and the RKMD method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4236-4245
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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