[DelPulgar2011] "Rapid characterization of dry cured ham produced following different PDOs by proton transfer reaction time of flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS).",
, vol. 85, no. 1: Food Technology, Facultad de Veterinaria, UEx, Campus Universitario s/n, 10003 CÃ¡ceres, Spain., pp. 386–393, Jul, 2011.
In the present study, the recently developed proton transfer reaction time of flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) technique was used for the rapid characterization of dry cured hams produced according to 4 of the most important Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs): an Iberian one (Dehesa de Extremadura) and three Italian ones (Prosciutto di San Daniele, Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto Toscano). In total, the headspace composition and respective concentration for nine Spanish and 37 Italian dry cured ham samples were analyzed by direct injection without any pre-treatment or pre-concentration. Firstly, we show that the rapid PTR-ToF-MS fingerprinting in conjunction with chemometrics (Principal Components Analysis) indicates a good separation of the dry cured ham samples according to their production process and that it is possible to set up, using data mining methods, classification models with a high success rate in cross validation. Secondly, we exploited the higher mass resolution of the new PTR-ToF-MS, as compared with standard quadrupole based versions, for the identification of the exact sum formula of the mass spectrometric peaks providing analytical information on the observed differences. The work indicates that PTR-ToF-MS can be used as a rapid method for the identification of differences among dry cured hams produced following the indications of different PDOs and that it provides information on some of the major volatile compounds and their link with the implemented manufacturing practices such as rearing system, salting and curing process, manufacturing practices that seem to strongly affect the final volatile organic profile and thus the perceived quality of dry cured ham.