Pyrraline, a causative factor for the recent epidemics of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is also employed as an indicator to evaluate heat damage and formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in foods. Peptide-enriched drinks (PEDs) are broadly consumed worldwide due to rapid rate of absorption and perceived health effects. It can be hypothesized that PED is an important source of pyrraline, especially peptide bound pyrraline (Pep-Pyr). In this study we determined free-form pyrraline (Free-Pyr) and Pep-Pyr in drinks enriched with whey protein hydrolysate (WPH), soy protein hydrolysate (SPH) and collagen protein hydrolysate (CPH). A detection method was developed using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography with UV-visible detector coupled with tandem mass spectrometry after solid-phase extraction (SPE). The SPE led to excellent recovery rates ranging between 93.2% and 98.5% and a high reproducibility with relative standard deviations (RSD) of <5%. The limits of detection and quantification obtained were 30.4 and 70.3 ng/mL, respectively. Pep-Pyr was identified as the most abundant form (above 96 percent) of total pyrraline, whereas Free-Pyr was present in a small proportion (less than four percent) of total pyrraline. The results indicate that PED is an important extrinsic source of pyrraline, especially Pep-Pyr. As compared with CPH- and SPH-enriched drinks, WPH-enriched drinks contained high content of Pep-Pyr. The Pep-Pyr content is associated with the distribution of peptide lengths and the amino acid compositions of protein in PEDs.
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