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Table 2 Advantages and disadvantages of various analytical methods for fatty acid analysis

From: Assessing diatom-mediated fatty acids in intertidal biofilm: a new conservation concern

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Gas chromatography flame–ionization detection (GC/FID) (Tang and Row 2013; Fisk et al. 2014; Schnurr et al. 2019, 2020) Established for mudflat FA analysis
Cost-effective
Extensive sample prep and derivatization
Destructive
Insensitive
Low specificity
Does not provide structural information
Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) (Tang and Row 2013; Fisk et al. 2014; Bergamino et al. 2014) Established for mudflat FA analysis
Provides structural information
Extensive sample prep and derivatization required
Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) (Brondz 2002; Schlotterbeck et al. 2018) Limited sample preparation required
Provides structural information
Sensitive
Less established in mudflat FA analysis
Expensive
Liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight (LC/QTOF) (Molina-Calle et al. 2017; Schlotterbeck et al. 2018) Limited sample preparation
Provides structural information
High resolution
High mass accuracy
Less established in mudflat FA analysis
Expensive
Fourier transform infrared (FT/IR) spectroscopy (Karunathilaka et al. 2017; Aryee et al. 2009; Gieroba et al. 2020) Rapid
Non-destructive
Spectra can be distorted by water
Provides limited data compared to other methods
  1. FA fatty acid