Beyond diazomethane: Alternative approaches to analyzing non-esterified fatty acids

Greg Potter*, Suzanne M. Budge, R. Alex Speers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In many branches of lipid science, researchers are interested in non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) content and composition. For many years, diazomethane was the reagent of choice to selectively derivatize and then detect NEFA due to its highly specific methylation of the carboxylic acid functional group. While the activity of this derivatizing reagent is very defined, it is dangerous and can be difficult to obtain. In this brief review, we have compiled a collection of methods which allow for the detection of NEFA and hydroxy NEFA without the use of diazomethane. We have concentrated on methods that employ three distinct approaches of selective quantification/extraction, purification from total lipids and derivatization techniques.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)908-917
    Number of pages10
    JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


    • Derivatization
    • Extraction
    • GC-MS
    • Hydroxy fatty acids
    • Quaternary ammonium salts

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Chemistry(all)
    • Biotechnology
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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