The proposed analytical method reports the separation and quantification of 21 amino acids including l-citrulline from fresh vegetables and commercial juices using a C8 column. Optimal separation conditions for amino acids analysis were obtained with 20 mM sodium acetate (solvent A) and water with organic modifier acetonitrile and methanol (solvent B; 18/50/32 V/V). The ideal pH and column temperature were found to be 5.40 and 35 °C, respectively. The LOD and LOQ values were obtained in the range of 0.02–0.19 ng/mL and 0.04–0.39 ng/mL for all amino acids respectively. Relative standard deviations (RSD) of intraday and interday analysis were found to be < 2.7% and 7.9%, respectively. The recovery of amino acids were found be satisfactory for all the tested crops. The developed method was successfully used for the quantification of amino acids in six fresh vegetable juices including watermelon, cucumber, celery, calabaza squash, zucchini squash, yellow squash and commercial juices. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the significant differences in the amino acids profiles. l-citrulline content was highest in fresh watermelon juice (716.57 ± 24.80 μg/mL) and commercial watermelon lime juice (826.48 ± 34.48 μg/mL). The optimized analytical method is rapid, sensitive, accurate and reproducible for analysis of free amino acids including l-citrulline from different vegetable juices and other food products. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to separate OPA derivatives of amino acids using C8 column from watermelon, cucumber, zucchini squash, yellow squash, calabaza squash, and celery in a HPLC-FLD system.

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