Tackling the extended list of fragrance allergens by flow-modulated GC×GC–TOF MS/FID
This preliminary study investigates the use of flow-modulated GC×GC to analyse an 84-component allergen calibration standard, with simultaneous detection by TOF MS for confident identification and FID for robust quantitation. A high degree of linearity and repeatability is demonstrated, showing that flow-modulated GC×GC is a promising approach for high-throughput quality control of fragranced products. The validity of the GC×GC–TOF MS/FID method is then demonstrated with the examples of essential oils and a fragrance mix.
In 2003, an EU Directive restricting the use of allergenic compounds in fragrances was released. The Directive named a total of 26 allergens, stating that they should be labelled if present at >100 ppm in ‘wash-off’ products (such as shower gels), or >10 ppm in ‘leave-on’ products (such as perfumes).
Compliance with this Directive therefore requires that these compounds are identified and quantified accurately, which is a considerable challenge due to the complex matrix and wide concentration ranges involved.
Currently, this necessitates the use of different stationary phases to achieve the required chromatographic resolution for each target compound, making it a laborious process. Given the proposal to expand the list of monitored allergens to over 80 individual compounds, this process will only become more demanding.
To tackle this issue, the fragrance industry has turned to comprehensive twodimensional GC coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC–TOF MS). The enhanced separation capacity copes with the most complex of matrices, while the commercialisation of simple, consumable-free flow modulation devices has made routine use more feasible.
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