Deciphering the complexity of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) proanthocyanidins by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with a judicious choice of isotope patterns and matrices. Anal. Chem. 2011, 83, 4147-4153

ABSTRACT. Use of super-dihydroxybenzoic acid as the matrix enabled the analysis of highly complex mixtures of proanthocyanidins from sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Proanthocyanidins contained predominantly B-type homopolymers and heteropolymers up to 12-mers (3,400 Daltons). Use of another matrix, 2,6-dihydroxyacetophenone, revealed the presence of A-type glycosylated dimers. In addition, we report here how a comparison of the isotopic adduct patterns, that resulted from Li and Na salts as MALDI matrix additives, could be used to confirm the presence of A-type linkages in complex proanthocyanidin mixtures. Preliminary evidence suggested the presence of A-type dimers in glycosylated prodelphinidins and in tetrameric procyanidins and prodelphinidins