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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Suitability of tryptophan radiation products as markers for the detection of gamma-irradiated protein rich food.

During gamma-irradiation (5 kGy) of aqueous tryptophan (Trp) solutions small amounts of 5-, 6-, and 7-hydroxytryptophan (OH-Trp) (0.04-0.08 Mol-%) are formed. Protein rich food like shrimps contain reasonable amounts of non-protein bound Trp (100 mg/kg). In order to detect the treatment of shrimps with gamma-irradiation a method for the determination of OH-Trp in gamma-irradiated shrimps was developed. After homogenization, squeezing of shrimp samples and protein precipitation, a two-step-SPE-clean up was performed using a C18-cartridge and a propylsulfonic acid cation-exchange SPE followed by HPLC analysis with electrochemical detection (750 mV). Results showed that 5-OH-Trp contents in shrimp samples increased with applied doses up to 3 kGy and then decreased with higher doses. Other OH-Trp isomers were not detectable in the irradiated shrimps. Similarly no formation of 4-, 6-, and 7-OH-Trp was detected in model solutions containing the same amino acid composition as in shrimps. This indicates a suppression of the reaction of OH-radicals with Trp by the 300 fold molar excess of other amino acids acting as well as radical scavengers. Therefore, non-physiological OH-Trp isomers formed from free Trp are not suitable as markers for the detection of gamma-irradiated protein-rich foodstuff.[1]


  1. Suitability of tryptophan radiation products as markers for the detection of gamma-irradiated protein rich food. Kleeberg, K.K., Müller, A., Simat, T.J., Steinhart, H. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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