A study of organic compounds imparting sweet and buttery odor problems in the Llobregat River (northeast Spain) and in treated water was conducted. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME), gas chromatography-olfactometry, and flavor profile analysis (FPA) were used as analytical methodologies to identify the compound responsible for odor incidents. 2,3-Butanedione (diacetyl) with a concentration range of 0.90-26μg/l in river water samples entering the water treatment plant was identified as the compound causing the odor events. Flavor profile analysis establishes 0.05μg/l as its odor threshold concentration (OTC) in water, with an odor recognition concentration of 0.20μg/l. The analyses were carried out with SPME-GC-MS and parameters affecting SPME extraction such as selection of the fiber (carboxen-polydimethylsiloxane), extraction time (30min), temperature (60°C), and ionic strength were evaluated. Quality parameters of the optimized method gives good linearity (r2>0.999), a limit of detection (0.08μg/l) similar to the OTC of the compound, and good reproducibility (R.S.D.
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