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Scientific Articles - PTR-MS Bibliography

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[Fay2001] Fay, L. B., C. Yeretzian, and I. Blank, "Novel mass spectrometry methods in flavour analysis", CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, vol. 55, no. 5: Swiss Chemical Society, pp. 429–434, 2001.
Flavour research is a demanding domain in terms of analytical methodology as key odorants usually occur in trace amounts, often embedded in extracts containing volatile compounds at much higher concentrations. Since its early days, GC-MS has been a key tool in flavour laboratories enabling characterisation of thousands of volatile components in food products. However, as flavour chemists delve deeper into the understanding of flavour generation and delivery, there is a need for more powerful methodologies adapted to their specific needs. This paper will present two techniques that allow flavour separation and characterisation, namely GC-TOFMS and MS/MS. Moreover, APCI-MS, PTR-MS and REMPI-TOFMS will be discussed as they enable direct investigation of volatile compounds without any chromatographic step, thus studying release of flavour compounds during food processing or food consumption.
[Pollien2003] Pollien, P., C. Lindinger, C. Yeretzian, and I. Blank, "Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry, a tool for on-line monitoring of acrylamide formation in the headspace of maillard reaction systems and processed food.", Anal Chem, vol. 75, no. 20: Nestle Research Center, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland., pp. 5488–5494, Oct, 2003.
The formation of acrylamide was measured in real time during thermal treatment (120-170 degrees C) of potato as well as in Maillard model systems composed of asparagine and reducing sugars, such as fructose and glucose. This was achieved by on-line monitoring of acrylamide released into the headspace of the samples using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Unambiguous identification of acrylamide by PTR-MS was accomplished by gas chromatography coupled simultaneously to electron-impact MS and PTR-MS. The PTR-MS ion signal at m/z 72 was shown to be exclusively due to protonated acrylamide obtained without fragmentation. In model Maillard systems, the formation of acrylamide from asparagine was favored with increasing temperature and preferably in the presence of fructose. Maximum signal intensities in the headspace were obtained after approximately 2 min at 170 degrees C, whereas 6-7 min was required at 150 degrees C. Similarly, the level of acrylamide released into the headspace during thermal treatment of potato was positively correlated to temperature.
[Maerk2006] Märk, J., P. Pollien, C. Lindinger, I. Blank, and T. Märk, "Quantitation of furan and methylfuran formed in different precursor systems by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry.", J Agric Food Chem, vol. 54, no. 7: Nestlé Research Center, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland., pp. 2786–2793, Apr, 2006.
Furan has recently received attention as a possibly hazardous compound occurring in certain thermally processed foods. Previous model studies have revealed three main precursor systems producing furan upon thermal treatment, i.e., ascorbic acid, Maillard precursors, and polyunsaturated lipids. We employed proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) as an on-line monitoring technique to study furan formation. Unambiguous identification and quantitation in the headspace was achieved by PTR-MS/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry coupling. Ascorbic acid showed the highest potential to generate furan, followed by glyceryl trilinolenate. Some of the reaction samples generated methylfuran as well, such as Maillard systems containing alanine and threonine as well as lipids based on linolenic acid. The furan yields from ascorbic acid were lowered in an oxygen-free atmosphere (30%) or in the presence of reducing agents (e.g., sulfite, 60%), indicating the important role of oxidation steps in the furan formation pathway. Furthermore, already simple binary mixtures of ascorbic acid and amino acids, sugars, or lipids reduced furan by 50-95%. These data suggest that more complex reaction systems result in much lower furan amounts as compared to the individual precursors, most likely due to competing reaction pathways.
[Lindinger2005] Lindinger, C., P. Pollien, S. Ali, C. Yeretzian, I. Blank, and T. Maerk, "Unambiguous identification of volatile organic compounds by proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometry coupled with GC/MS.", Anal Chem, vol. 77, no. 13: Nestlé Research Center, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland., pp. 4117–4124, Jul, 2005.
Interest in on-line measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is increasing, as sensitive, compact, and affordable direct inlet mass spectrometers are becoming available. Proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) distinguishes itself by its high sensitivity (low ppt range), high time resolution (200 ms), little ionization-induced fragmentation, and ionization efficiency independent of the compound to be analyzed. Yet, PTR-MS has a shortcoming. It is a one-dimensional technique that characterizes compounds only via their mass, which is not sufficient for positive identification. Here, we introduce a technical and analytical extension of PTR-MS, which removes this shortcoming, while preserving its salient and unique features. Combining separation of VOCs by gas chromatography (GC) with simultaneous and parallel detection of the GC effluent by PTR-MS and electron impact MS, an unambiguous interpretation of complex PTR-MS spectra becomes feasible. This novel development is discussed on the basis of characteristic performance parameters, such as resolution, linear range, and detection limit. The recently developed drift tube with a reduced reaction volume is crucial to exploit the full potential of the setup. We illustrate the performance of the novel setup by analyzing a complex food system.
[Lindinger2008] Lindinger, C., D. Labbe, P. Pollien, A. Rytz, M. A. Juillerat, C. Yeretzian, and I. Blank, "When machine tastes coffee: instrumental approach to predict the sensory profile of espresso coffee.", Anal Chem, vol. 80, no. 5: Nestlé Research Center, Vers-Chez-les-Blanc, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland., pp. 1574–1581, Mar, 2008.
A robust and reproducible model was developed to predict the sensory profile of espresso coffee from instrumental headspace data. The model is derived from 11 different espresso coffees and validated using 8 additional espressos. The input of the model consists of (i) sensory profiles from a trained panel and (ii) on-line proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) data. The experimental PTR-MS conditions were designed to simulate those for the sensory evaluation. Sixteen characteristic ion traces in the headspace were quantified by PTR-MS, requiring only 2 min of headspace measurement per espresso. The correlation is based on a knowledge-based standardization and normalization of both datasets that selectively extracts differences in the quality of samples, while reducing the impact of variations on the overall intensity of coffees. This work represents a significant progress in terms of correlation of sensory with instrumental results exemplified on coffee.

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Selected PTR-MS related Reviews

F. Biasioli, C. Yeretzian, F. Gasperi, T. D. Märk: PTR-MS monitoring of VOCs and BVOCs in food science and technology, Trends in Analytical Chemistry 30 (7) (2011).

J. de Gouw, C. Warneke, T. Karl, G. Eerdekens, C. van der Veen, R. Fall: Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Earth's Atmosphere using Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry. Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 26 (2007), 223-257.

W. Lindinger, A. Hansel, A. Jordan: Proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR–MS): on-line monitoring of volatile organic compounds at pptv levels, Chem. Soc. Rev. 27 (1998), 347-375.


Lists with PTR-MS relevant publications of the University of Innsbruck can be found here: Atmospheric and indoor air chemistry, IMR, Environmental Physics and Nano-Bio-Physics


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