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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 469-470

Commercial Vitamin A Capsules: Is There Any Retinol?

Ignacio Fernández*,†, David Arraez-Román

†Área de Química Orgánica and NMR Facility at Servicios Centrales de Investigación, Universidad de Almería, Carretera de Sacramento, s/n, E-04120, Almería, Spain;; ‡Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Granada, C/Fuentenueva s/n, E-18071, Granada, Spain
Received June 17, 2010. Accepted September 23, 2010.

Published: 31 December 2010

Abstract. The experiment introduces hands-on 1D and 2D NMR analysis of vitamin A capsules, without the use of any chromatographic purification or extraction step. Among the different species deduced from the NMR spectra, the students conclude with the lackness of any retinol in the tablets analyzed. This laboratory exercise is used to introduce the students to organic spectroscopic techniques and to show them that NMR is not simply a means to elucidate structures of pure compounds but that it can be used to analyze more complex mixtures.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; NMR

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (37 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Available is a PDF file including experimental details, synthetic procedures, and some key notes that the students may follow to achieve the structural determinations (262 KB).

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