Seed of Australian acacia species, Acacia colei, Acacia elecantha, Acacia torulosa, Acacia turmida and Acacia saligna, were analysed for the presence of toxic non-protein amino acids and the levels of essential amino acids. Amines were derivatised with 6-aminoquinolyl-N-hydroxysuccinimidyl carbamate before analysis using liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-QQQ-MS). Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) with optimised transitions and collision energies for each analyte were employed. The known nephrotoxic compound djenkolic acid was found to be present at elevated levels in all species tested. The lowest levels were in A. colei (0.49% w/w) and the highest in A. saligna (1.85% w/w). Observed levels of djenkolic acid are comparable to measured and reported levels found in the djenkol bean. Subsequent testing of seed processing methods showed djenkolic acid levels can be significantly reduced by over 90% by dry roasting at 180 °C rendering the seed safe for human consumption.
Boughton, B., Reddy, P., Boland, M., Roessner, U., & Yates, P. A. (2015). Non-protein amino acids in Australian acacia seed: Implications for food security and recommended processing methods to reduce djenkolic acid. Food Chemistry, 179, 109-115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.01.072