Determination of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline in standard reference material 2384, baking chocolate, using reversed-phase liquid chromatography
Thomas JB, Yen JH, Schantz MM,
Porter BJ, Sharpless KE.
United States Department of Commerce,
National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory,
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-0001, USA.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 May 5


A rapid and selective isocratic reversed-phase liquid chromatographic method has been developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to simultaneously measure caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline in a food-matrix standard reference material (SRM) 2384, Baking Chocolate. The method uses isocratic elution with a mobile phase composition (volume fractions) of 10% acetronitrile/90% water (pH adjusted to 2.5 using acetic acid) at a flow rate of 1.5 mL/min with ultraviolet absorbance detection (274 nm). Total elution time for these analytes is less than 15 min. Concentration levels of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline were measured in single 1-g samples taken from each of eight bars of chocolate over an eight-day period. Samples were defatted with hexane, and beta-hydroxyethyltheophylline was added as the internal standard. The repeatability for the caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline measurements was 5.1, 2.3, and 1.9%, respectively. The limit of quantitation for all analytes was <100 ng/mL. The measurements from this method were used in the value-assignment of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline in SRM 2384.

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