MS & NMR Center / Alfa Chemistry
MS Center

Analysis of Plant Metabolites

Analysis of Plant Metabolites

Higher plants are multifunctional organisms composed of many different and highly specialized tissue types with a very diverse metabolic profile, many of which undergo dramatic metabolic changes during development [1]. Approximately 50,000 metabolites have been elucidated in plants, and the final number is predicted to exceed 200,000. Most of them have unknown functions. In plant science, it is important to understand the types and amounts of metabolites produced in the plant kingdom because this productivity indicates the adaptive evolution of plants in nature [2]. Despite significant technological advances in metabolite separation and analysis, the chemical differences of primary and secondary metabolites of complex natural products pose an extraordinary challenge for analysis.

Mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the most widely used analytical techniques, which has been proved to be used for quantitative and qualitative measurement of plant metabolites. The success of MS in plant science is mainly based on the sensitivity provided by the technique, the selectivity and the identification capabilities of the technique. Alfa Chemistry has a one-stop MS detection platform and has the ability to provide high-quality MS analysis services for plant metabolites. Our state-of-the-art MS technology and experienced team of experts enable us to accurately identify and analyze various types of plant metabolites.

Our Services

Our MS services cover a wide range of plant metabolites, including but not limited to the following targets.



Phenolic acids




Stilbene derivatives (Resveratrol)


Other plant metabolites

In addition to accurate and precise identification and quantification of the above plant metabolites, we are able to provide customized solutions based on the specific needs and requirements of our customers.

Our Technology Platforms

Our technology platforms include, but are not limited to the following.

  • Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

GC-MS is a tool commonly used in plant metabolomics to measure and analyze the chemical components present in a plant. It is particularly suitable for the quantification of volatile compounds at higher temperatures as well as derivatized polar metabolites. Since the separation in GC is performed at higher temperatures, it is quite important to derivatize the sample before analysis. Electron ionization technology helps the identification of compounds by producing highly fragmented information and characteristic mass spectra. The resulting data can be compared to a database of known metabolites to identify unknown compounds.

  • Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)

Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)

LC-MS is another analytical technique used in plant metabolomics. It is more suitable for non-volatile and polar metabolites than GC-MS techniques. To date, several different LC-MS-based metabolomics platforms have been developed for targeted analysis of plant primary and secondary metabolites, as well as for untargeted metabolome analysis. Methodologically, targeted LC-MS and untargeted LC-MS methods for secondary metabolites are often very similar, but there are obvious differences in data analysis. Untargeted metabolomics involves analyzing all of the metabolite signals detected in a given sample, without any prior knowledge of what specific metabolites may be present. The goal of this approach is to provide a comprehensive overview of the sample's metabolic profile [2]. In contrast, targeted metabolomics involves analyzing a pre-defined set of metabolites that have already been characterized and annotated biochemically.

Our Advantages

  • We have a leading technology platform and a team of experienced experts.
  • We provide customers with the most comprehensive services at the most favorable prices to help them save scientific research funds reasonably.
  • For the content entrusted by the customer, we will strictly keep the secret and sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Even for the most complex samples, we strive to provide satisfactory results for our customers.

Alfa Chemistry's services are widely recognized for their precision, efficiency and reliability, and are trusted by researchers and institutions worldwide. Please do not hesitate to start your next project with us.


  1. Bjarnholt, N.; et al. Mass spectrometry imaging of plant metabolites–principles and possibilities. Natural product reports. 2014, 31(6): 818-837.
  2. Shimizu, T.; et al. Targeted LC-MS analysis for plant secondary metabolites. Plant Metabolomics. 2018: 171-181.

Our services are for research use only.