Comparative study of the whisky aroma profile based on headspace solid phase microextraction using different fibre coatings

  • Câmara J
  • Marques J
  • Perestrelo R
 et al. 
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A dynamic headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography coupled to ion trap mass spectrometry (GC-ITMS) method was developed and applied for the qualitative determination of the volatile compounds present in commercial whisky samples which alcoholic content was previously adjusted to 13% (v/v). Headspace SPME experimental conditions, such as fibre coating, extraction temperature and extraction time, were optimized in order to improve the extraction process. Five different SPME fibres were used in this study, namely, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), poly(acrylate) (PA), Carboxen-poly(dimethylsiloxane) (CAR/PDMS), Carbowax-divinylbenzene (CW/DVB) and Carboxen-poly(dimethylsiloxane)-divinylbenzene (CAR/PDMS/DVB). The best results were obtained using a 75 μm CAR/PDMS fibre during headspace extraction at 40 °C with stirring at 750 rpm for 60 min, after saturating the samples with salt. The optimised methodology was then applied to investigate the volatile composition profile of three Scotch whisky samples-Black Label, Ballantines and Highland Clan. Approximately seventy volatile compounds were identified in the these samples, pertaining at several chemical groups, mainly fatty acids ethyl esters, higher alcohols, fatty acids, carbonyl compounds, monoterpenols, C13norisoprenoids and some volatile phenols. The ethyl esters form an essential group of aroma components in whisky, to which they confer a pleasant aroma, with "fruity" odours. Qualitatively, the isoamyl acetate, with "banana" aroma, was the most interesting. Quantitatively, significant components are ethyl esters of caprilic, capric and lauric acids. The highest concentration of fatty acids, were observed for caprilic and capric acids. From the higher alcohols the fusel oils (3-methylbutan-1-ol and 2.phenyletanol) are the most important ones. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Gas chromatography-Mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME)
  • Volatile compounds
  • Whisky analysis

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