Scientific journal

61 2022

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 2 / 2022

Hernández-León, A. – Artavia, G. – Cortés-Herrera, C. – Granados-Chinchilla, F.
Chromatographic determination of major physiologically active components in energy drinks and sports aids commercialized in Costa Rica
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 61, 2022, No. 2, s. 178-191

Fabio Granados-Chinchilla, National Food Science and Technology Centre, University of Costa Rica, 11501-2060 Sede Rodrigo Facio, Costa Rica. E-mail:

Received 12 January 2022; 1st revised 16 March 2022; 2nd revised 19 April 2022; accepted 4 May 2022; published online 21 May 2022.

Summary: Energy drinks marketed as providing mental and physical spur, usually contain caffeine as a stimulant, and may contain sugar, other sweeteners, acidulants and taurine. A total of 12 samples were analysed for taurine, caffeine, sugar profile and citric acid. Then, two different liquid chromatography methods were validated for taurine, sugars and citric acid (the latter two determined simultaneously). For taurine, a sensitive fluorescence detection-based method with limit of detection (LOD) 5.68 ng·ml-1 resulted in relative standard deviation (RSD) < 6 % and recovery 89.3–111.0 % for four spiking levels, concentrations being adjusted closely to the label. For sugars and citric acid, a ligand exchange-based method using refractive detection rendered LOD, RSD and accuracy values (recoveries) of 0.0896–0.1993 g·l-1, 3–4 % and 94.9–118.1 %, respectively. Sugar levels in beverages ranged from 100 % to 210 % of declared values. For citric acid, values from 2.60 g·l-1 to 9.35 g·l-1 were determined. Finally, an accredited method with LOD of 0.016 µg·ml-1 was used to assess caffeine concentration. Values 222.06–722.49 µg·ml-1 were higher than in similar products and a half of the drinks had significantly higher values than those reported on the label. Some other discrepancies with the label were also found.

Keywords: beverage; energy drink; chemical analysis; taurine; caffeine; sugar profile; organic acid

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