impurities, quality control, GC-MS, ISQ Thermo Scientific, wine, beverage, spirits, sample preparationThere seems to be a lot of you that would like to not have any manual sample preparation. Now, how many of you like wine? I am typing this one handed cause my hand is high up in the air, I’m very glad for spell check. What could we be looking for in wine you ask? We want to assist the wine manufacturers, bottlers, sellers, oenologists, and consumers (that’s where most of us come in) in showing that the wine is high quality. The GC-MS single quadrupole, along with an oenologist, can ensure objectively that there is nothing in the wine from the grapes, cork, and other factors that will damage the consistency or quality. Compounds the instrument would be looking for are volatile phenols, geosmine, haloanisoles, and methoxypyrazines, find a description of these classes of compounds in the application note.

While wine makers have historically used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to detect pesticides, they now more commonly use the technique to supplement quality control checks of wine taste. Without GC/MS, wine makers must rely solely on expert evaluation by oenologists (how does one find this type of job) to determine wine quality. By identifying maturation tracers and molecules commonly responsible for taste defects, GC/MS augments expert opinion with objective and quantitative information. When using a SPME extraction method, GC/MS has the additional advantages of requiring very small sample sizes, a minimum of sample preparation, and rapid analysis of target molecules.

The sample preparation is almost as simple as pouring a round for the TriPlus RSH autosampler. The trick is to saturate with NaCl, and not pour any for yourself. Then let the autosampler do the extraction with the SPME fiber. The four types of compounds listed above, volatile phenols, geosmine, haloanisoles, and methoxypyrazines were monitored. The ISQ GC-MS single quadrupole was set for alternating full scan/SIM. This allowed for low level detection of these four types of compounds and still let you look for other compounds in the wine.

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The ability of the ISQ GC-MS to detect several contaminants in wine at lower concentrations than the limit of human tasters, and its ease of use in combination with a single-step, two-minute sample preparation make it a useful tool for the wine and beverageindustry. The sequential full-scan/SIM acquisition method for detecting the impurities also does not require extensive training of personnel to provide accurate results. In addition, this general method may be improved or customized to particular wines by incorporating new parameters such as trying other SPME coatings in the extraction phase. The wine, champagne, and spirit market can be well served by analytical chemistry tools such as GC-MS. There are also other potential uses for this analysis method. For example, wine and other spirit producers risk their recipes being compromised when they outsource their product analysis, and prefer to conduct it on site. In addition, analysis of competitors’ products using a GC-MS can help producers quantify what makes one wine superior to another.

Download this application note here: Impurities in Wine

If you have any questions please feel free to post a comment, we really do like talking about developing methods that work for your lab.