Flavan-3-ols, procyanidins and their monomers are major flavonoids present in peanuts that show a wide range of biological properties and health benefits, based on their potent antioxidant activity. Procyanidin oligomers, especially A-type, are reportedly abundant in peanut skin; however, their localization in the raw peanut testa remains poorly understood. Therefore, we performed matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) to investigate the localization of flavan-3-ols in peanut testa. 1,5-Diaminonaphthalene was coated onto the peanut section by matrix vapor deposition/recrystallization, and MALDI-MSI measurements were performed in the negative-ion mode. Peaks matching the m
values of flavan-3-ol [M − H]−
ions were observed in the mass spectrum extracted from the outer epidermis of the peanut testa, using the region of interest function. Catechin and/or epicatechin, five A-type, and one B-type procyanidins were assigned by the fragment ions generated by retro-Diels-Alder, heterocyclic ring fission, and quinone methide reactions detected in MALDI-tandem MS spectra. These flavan-3-ols were localized in the outer epidermis of the peanut testa. This information will contribute to improving the extraction and purification efficiencies of flavan-3-ols from peanut testa. As flavan-3-ols display anti-microbial activity, it is speculated that flavan-3-ols present in the outer epidermis of peanut testa act to prevent pathogen infection.
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