[Cappellin2010a] "Improved mass accuracy in PTR-TOF-MS: Another step towards better compound identification in PTR-MS",
International journal of mass spectrometry
, vol. 290, no. 1: Elsevier, pp. 60–63, 2010.
Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) provides on-line monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with a low detection threshold and a fast response time. Commercially available set-ups are usually based on quadrupole analysers that, due to the unit mass resolution, do not provide useful analytical information besides the nominal mass of the ions detected. Recently new instruments based on time-of-flight (PTR-TOF-MS) analysers have been proposed and commercialized. They provide higher mass resolution and thus improve the analytical information contained in the spectra. Mass accuracy, however, is an issue that has not been considered in great detail in the published papers on PTR-TOF-MS so far. We show here that the mass accuracy obtained by a commercial apparatus can be improved by proper data analysis. In particular, internal calibration based on an improved algorithm allows for a mass accuracy that suffices for elemental determination in the most common situations. Achieving good mass accuracy is a fundamental step for further exploiting the analytical potential of PTR-MS.
[Cappellin2010] "Proton transfer reaction rate coefficients between H< sub> 3 O< sup>+ and some sulphur compounds",
International journal of mass spectrometry
, vol. 295, no. 1: Elsevier, pp. 43–48, 2010.
Volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) are key compounds in many fields of basic and applied science and technology, such as environmental sciences, food science, geochemistry, petrochemistry, agriculture, biology and medicine. Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) allows for on-line monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and, in particular, of VSCs with ultra low detection limits and a fast response time. In principle, with PTR-MS, absolute quantification of VOC concentrations without calibration is possible, provided the branching ratios are known. However, for this, the reaction rate coefficients between VOCs and the hydronium ion have also to be known. Several well-established theories may be used to determine ion-neutral molecule reaction rate coefficients. In the case of H3O+–VOC reactions proceeding in a PTR-MS drift tube, a key factor to be considered is the centre-of-mass energy, which is generally much higher than the thermal energy, due to the additional translational (drift) energy of the ion. Nevertheless, it is common practice to employ collision theories that do not show an explicit dependence on the centre-of-mass energy. First we review basic aspects of ion-neutral reactions in the PTR-MS drift tube and various methods to calculate reaction rate coefficients. Next, we calculate, on the basis of quantum chemical methods and different theoretical approaches for ion-molecule collisions, reaction rate coefficients between selected sulphur compounds and H3O+. Finally, we discuss proper methods for the calculations of ion-neutral molecule reaction rate coefficients in the context of PTR-MS and the corresponding experimental parameters involved.
[Soukoulis2010] "Proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry monitoring of the evolution of volatile compounds during lactic acid fermentation of milk.",
Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom
, vol. 24, no. 14: IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Food Quality and Nutrition Area, Via E. Mach, 1, 38010, S.Michele a/A, (TN), Italy., pp. 2127–3134, Jul, 2010.
We apply, for first time, the recently developed proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS) apparatus as a rapid method for the monitoring of lactic acid fermentation (LAF) of milk. PTR-TOF-MS has been proposed as a very fast, highly sensitive and versatile technique but there have been no reports of its application to dynamic biochemical processes with relevance to the food industry. LAF is a biochemical-physicochemical dynamic process particularly relevant for the dairy industry as it is an important step in the production of many dairy products. Further, LAF is important in the utilization of the by-products of the cheese industry, such as whey wastewaters. We show that PTR-TOF-MS is a powerful method for the monitoring of major volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) formed or depleted during LAF, including acetaldehyde, diacetyl, acetoin and 2-propanone, and it also provides information about the evolution of minor VOCs such as acetic acid, 2,3-pentanedione, ethanol, and off-flavor related VOCs such as dimethyl sulfide and furfural. This can be very important considering that the conventional measurement of pH decrease during LAF is often ineffective due to the reduced response of pH electrodes resulting from the formation of protein sediments. Solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS) data on the inoculated milk base and final fermented product are also presented to supporting peak identification. We demonstrate that PTR-TOF-MS can be used as a rapid, efficient and non-invasive method for the monitoring of LAF from headspace, supplying important data about the quality of the final product and that it may be used to monitor the efficacy of manufacturing practices.
[Fabris2010] "PTR-TOF-MS and data-mining methods for rapid characterisation of agro-industrial samples: influence of milk storage conditions on the volatile compounds profile of Trentingrana cheese.",
J Mass Spectrom
, vol. 45, no. 9: IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Food Quality and Nutrition Area, Via E. Mach, 1, 38010, S. Michele a/A, Italy., pp. 1065–1074, Sep, 2010.
Proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), a direct injection mass spectrometric technique based on an efficient implementation of chemical ionisation, allows for fast and high-sensitivity monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The first implementations of PTR-MS, based on quadrupole mass analyzers (PTR-Quad-MS), provided only the nominal mass of the ions measured and thus little chemical information. To partially overcome these limitations and improve the analytical capability of this technique, the coupling of proton transfer reaction ionisation with a time-of-flight mass analyser has been recently realised and commercialised (PTR-TOF-MS). Here we discuss the very first application of this new instrument to agro-industrial problems and dairy science in particular. As a case study, we show here that the rapid PTR-TOF-MS fingerprinting coupled with data-mining methods can quickly verify whether the storage condition of the milk affects the final quality of cheese and we provide relevant examples of better compound identification in comparison with the previous PTR-MS implementations. In particular, 'Trentingrana' cheese produced by four different procedures for milk storage are compared both in the case of winter and summer production. It is indeed possible to set classification models with low prediction errors and to identify the chemical formula of the ion peaks used for classification, providing evidence of the role that this novel spectrometric technique can play for fundamental and applied agro-industrial themes.