Quantification of Toxins in Soapberry (Sapindaceae) Arils: Hypoglycin A and Methylenecyclopropylglycine

Samantha L. Isenberg, Melissa D. Carter, Shelby R. Hayes, Leigh Ann Graham, Darryl Johnson, Thomas P. Mathews, Leslie A. Harden, Gary R. Takeoka, Jerry D. Thomas, James L. Pirkle, Rudolph C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG) and hypoglycin A (HGA) are naturally occurring amino acids found in some soapberry fruits. Fatalities have been reported worldwide as a result of HGA ingestion, and exposure to MCPG has been implicated recently in the Asian outbreaks of hypoglycemic encephalopathy. In response to an outbreak linked to soapberry ingestion, the authors developed the first method to simultaneously quantify MCPG and HGA in soapberry fruits from 1 to 10000 ppm of both toxins in dried fruit aril. Further, this is the first report of HGA in litchi, longan, and mamoncillo arils. This method is presented to specifically address the laboratory needs of public-health investigators in the hypoglycemic encephalitis outbreaks linked to soapberry fruit ingestion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5607-5613
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 13 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acer
  • Aceraceae
  • Aesculus
  • Litchi
  • Sapindaceae
  • ackee
  • cyclopropylamino acids
  • hypoglycin A
  • lychee
  • methylenecyclopropylalanine
  • methylenecyclopropylglycine
  • rambutan
  • soapberry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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