The study of phytoestrogens in food sources and their metabolism, effects, and mechanism of action in animals requires very selective and often sensitive analytical techniques. We have applied coulometric array detection, which uses a series of flow-through electrochemical sensors each providing 100% electrolytic efficiency, for measurement of a variety of phytochemicals in complex matrices. Recent work has involved the resolution of coumestrol (COM), daidzein (DE), daidzin (DI), diethylstilbestrol (DES), enterodiol (ED), enterolactone (EL), equol (EQ), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), estrone (E), genistein (GE), and quercetin (QE). Binary gradient reversed-phase (C18) chromatography was used with a sodium acetate buffer (pH 4.8)-methanol-acetonitrile solvent system. Eight coulometric sensors were set at 260, 320, 380, 440, 500, 560, 620, and 680 mV (vs Pd reference). Compounds were resolved in 30 min via both their oxidation/reduction characteristics and chromatographic behavior. Respective maximal oxidation potentials (mV) were: COM = 380; DE = 500; DI = 620; DES = 440; ED = 620; EL = 620; EQ = 560; E2 = 560; E3 = 560; E1 = 560; GE = 500; and QE = 260 with limits of detection of 5-50 pg. Uterine tissue homogenates (30 mg/ml in Tris-EDTA) and plasma from Sprague-Dawley rats sacrificed 1 hr after sc injection with either vehicle, dimethylsulfoxide, 10 μg DES, or 1.0 mg EQ were analyzed before and after enzymatic hydrolysis with β-glucuronidase/sulfatase. Urine samples from humans receiving a Boston-area diet with or without soy protein isolate supplements were also analyzed. Ethanol extracts were evaporated and reconstituted in 20% methanol before HPLC analysis. DE, ED, EL, EQ, and GE were determined in urine with less than 5% (R.S.D.) intraassay imprecision and 85%-102% recovery. Levels (ng/ml) of GE (1.8), QE (11.2), and EQ (1.7) were found in control plasma before hydrolysis and GE (293), QE (183), and EQ (22) after hydrolysis. Higher concentrations, corresponding to sc injection, in free and total EQ were found in both tissue and plasma.