Effects of freeze-drying of samples on metabolite levels in metabolome analyses

Akira Oikawa, Takao Otsuka, Yusuke Jikumaru, Shinjiro Yamaguchi, Fumio Matsuda, Ryo Nakabayashi, Tadashi Takashina, Kanji Isuzugawa, Kazuki Saito, Katsuhiro Shiratake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Freeze-drying (FD) is a useful technique for removing water from biological tissues, such as food samples. Cellular components freeze at once, and the ice sublimates under conditions of high vacuum and low temperatures. Because biological activity is restricted during FD, the degradation of cellular metabolites is often believed to be limited. However, the cellular structure is damaged by several factors, such as the increase in cell volume during freezing, and this has serious effects on the levels of some cellular metabolites. We studied these effects of FD on metabolite levels when using it as a sample preparation step in metabolome analysis. We observed significant decreases in the levels of some metabolites, such as succinate and choline, in Arabidopsis and pear, respectively. We also found that the effects of FD on certain metabolite levels differed between Arabidopsis plants and pear fruits. These results suggest that it is necessary to confirm the metabolite recovery in each sample species when FD is used for sample preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3561-3567
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Separation Science
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Freeze-drying
  • Metabolomics
  • Plant
  • Sample preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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