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Aroma and flavour analysis of ground beef using fully automated headspace–trap and HiSorb™ sorptive extraction


Analysis of VOCs that contribute to the aroma and flavour of a food product is important for quality control. The results can indicate whether a product is spoiled and reveal the source of this spoilage, such as contamination from packaging.

In this study, ground beef samples were analysed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Sample preparation was carried out by both static headspace–trap and high-capacity sorptive extraction on Centri.

The key enabling innovation at the heart of Centri is a multi-sorbent-bed focusing trap in the sample flow path, which enables a wide range of analytes to be retained and enriched during sample introduction, and a ‘backflush’ injection (where the carrier gas flow reverses during trap desorption) ensures that the analytes are efficiently released to the GC(–MS). These have benefits for dealing with the high-moisture-content samples under investigation in this study:

  • Large volume preconcentration (LVP): Volumes up to 5 mL in a single headspace extraction (automated using standard syringes) are preconcentrated on the trap prior to GC injection, meaning a greater quantity of each analyte is introduced to the analytical system for detection, enhancing the sensitivity.
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