A novel labeling reagent 1-(2-naphthyl)-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone (NMP) coupled with capillary electrophoresis (CE) with DAD detection for the determination of carbohydrates has been developed. The chromophore in the 1-phenyl-3-methyl-5-pyrazolone (PMP) reagent is replaced by naphthyl functional group, which results in a reagent with very high molar absorptivity (epsilon251 nm = 5.58 x 10(4) L mol(-1) cm(-1)). This permits NMP-labeled carbohydrates to be detected with UV absorbance in standard 50-mum-i.d. fused silica capillaries by zone electrophoresis. In this mode, nanomolar concentrations of detection limits are obtained. The method for the derivatization of carbohydrates with NMP is simplified. The derivatization reaction is rapid and mild in the presence of ammonia catalyst without further transfer steps. Nine monosaccharide derivatives such as mannose, galacturonic acid, glucuronic acid, rhamnose, glucose, galactose, xylose, arabinose and fucose can successfully be detected in CE mode. Good reproducibility can be obtained with relative standard deviation (R.S.D.) values of the migration times and peak area, respectively, from 0.44 to 0.48 and from 3.2 to 4.8. Furthermore, the developed method has been successfully applied to the analysis of carbohydrates in the hydrolyzed rape bee pollen samples.