From the early precipitation-based techniques, introduced more than a century ago, to the latest development of enzymatic bio- and nano-sensor applications, the analysis of phytic acid and/or other inositol phosphates has never been a straightforward analytical task. Due to the biomedical importance, such as antinutritional, antioxidant and anticancer effects, several types of methodologies were investigated over the years to develop a reliable determination of these intriguing analytes in many types of biological samples; from various foodstuffs to living cell organisms. The main aim of the present work was to critically overview the development of the most relevant analytical principles, separation and detection methods that have been applied in order to overcome the difficulties with specific chemical properties of inositol phosphates, their interferences, absence of characteristic signal (e.g., absorbance), and strong binding interactions with (multivalent) metals and other biological molecules present in the sample matrix. A systematical and chronological review of the applied methodology and the detection system is given, ranging from the very beginnings of the classical gravimetric and titrimetric analysis, through the potentiometric titrations, chromatographic and electrophoretic separation techniques, to the use of spectroscopic methods and of the recently reported fluorescence and voltammetric bio- and nano-sensors.
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