Virtually everything in the field of coffee analysis has successfully been investigated with IONICON PTR-MS instruments. Here, we only give two examples of the endless possibilities PTR-MS provides.
When PTR-MS tastes coffee
One of the first coffee studies that found great response in scientific as well as in non-scientific media was published by Lindinger et al. in 2008.
This study by the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland using IONICON PTR-MS was a major step forward in terms of correlation of sensory with instrumental results. The scientists were able to develop a robust and reproducible model to predict the sensory profile of espresso coffee from instrumental headspace data.
The analytical study and sensory profiling were performed utilizing different commercially available espresso coffee products. Online analysis with IONICON PTR-MS was used to obtain chemical information about differences in composition of the coffee headspace characterizing the different coffee blends. In addition, an expert panels trained for coffee tasting described each sample by scoring ten key flavor attributes on a 10-point scale. Subsequently, the overall sensory description of each sample was correlated with the analytically obtained differences in chemical composition in order to develop a statistical tool to predict the sensory profile based on analytical data. In a second step, the prediction was validated using a new series of coffee blends, which differ in the aroma profile and which were not included in the development of the predictive tool. The overall sensory prediction of the new blends based solely on the analytically generated data show a great match with the sensory profiles independently obtained by the expert panel.
This novel and efficient approach of characterizing the aroma of coffee blends by on-line PTR-MS analysis may shorten the time required for the development of new products and improve quality control in a more automated and objective manner.