HPLC Separation of Taurine

Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is organic zwitterionic compound. Taurine is a non-essential sulfur-containing amino acid that functions with glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid as a neurotransmitter. Taurine is incorporated into one of the most abundant bile acids, chenodeoxycholic acid, where it serves to emulsify dietary lipids in the intestine, promoting digestion. It is used in food and pharmaceutical formulations. High polarity and zwitterionic nature of taurine complicates analysis of this compound by reverse-phase chromatography. Two methods for the analysis of taurine are developed on mixed-mode columns. Taurine is retained on Primesep A column by HILIC cation-exchange mechanism and on Primesep D column by HILIC anion-exchange mechanism. Method can be used for fast and effective quantitation of taurine in various products including energy drinks. Method requires ELSD or LC/MS detection due to lack of UV activity for taurine.