Analysis of fatty acids and triacylglycerides by Pd nanoparticle-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

In this study, we propose a simple and rapid technique for characterization of free fatty acids and triacylglycerides (TAG) based on palladium nanoparticular (Pd-NP) surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) mass spectrometry (MS). The implemented Pd-NP material allowed detection of free fatty acids and TAGs exclusively as [M + K]+ions in positive ion mode. Under negative ionization conditions, unusual trimetric structures were generated for free fatty acids, while TAGs underwent irreproducible degradation reactions. Importantly, the mass spectra obtained from Pd-NP targets in positive ion mode were very clean without interferences from matrix-derived ions in the lowm/zrange and readily enabled the detection of intact TAGs in vegetable oils without major fragmentation reactions as compared to conventional MALDI-MS, requiring only a minimal amount of sample preparation.