"Comparison of direct mass spectrometry methods for the on-line analysis of volatile compounds in foods.",
J Mass Spectrom
, vol. 48, pp. 594–607, May, 2013.
<p>For the on-line monitoring of flavour compound release, atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and proton transfer reaction (PTR) combined to mass spectrometry (MS) are the most often used ionization technologies. APCI-MS was questioned for the quantification of volatiles in complex mixtures, but direct comparisons of APCI and PTR techniques applied on the same samples remain scarce. The aim of this work was to compare the potentialities of both techniques for the study of in vitro and in vivo flavour release. Aroma release from flavoured aqueous solutions (in vitro measurements in Teflon bags and glass vials) or flavoured candies (in vivo measurements on six panellists) was studied using APCI- and PTR-MS. Very similar results were obtained with both techniques. Their sensitivities, expressed as limit of detection of 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, were found equivalent at 12 ng/l air. Analyses of Teflon bag headspace revealed a poor repeatability and important ionization competitions with both APCI- and PTR-MS, particularly between an ester and a secondary alcohol. These phenomena were attributed to dependency on moisture content, gas/liquid volume ratio, proton affinities and product ion distribution, together with inherent drawbacks of Teflon bags (adsorption, condensation of water and polar molecules). Concerning the analyses of vial headspace and in vivo analyses, similar results were obtained with both techniques, revealing no competition phenomena. This study highlighted the equivalent performances of APCI-MS and PTR-MS for in vitro and in vivo flavour release investigations and provided useful data on the problematic use of sample bags for headspace analyses.</p>