GC-olfactometry in combination with mass spectrometry

Gas chromatography olfactometry coupled with mass spectrometric detection

Gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) combined with mass spectrometry (MS) enables the unequivocal identification of odor-active compounds. This is achieved by comparison of mass spectra and retention times (retention indices) of individual compounds with those of reference compounds, either through use of our in-house databases or from commercial libraries. In addition, this technique allows compounds in a sample to be quantified by the use of stable isotope labelled standards.

In comprehensive GC-GC-MS/O (‘heat-cut’ GC), individual peaks eluting from the first GC column can be transferred (and enriched via a cryogenic trap) to a second GC-MS system. The latter is equipped with a capillary column of a different polarity, which further separates the peak and allows for the individual detection of its constituent compounds. An olfactory screening (GC-O) is performed in both dimensions to clearly localize odor-active compounds. The greater degree of separation offered by combining the two different separation phases enables an extremely sensitive and selective analysis, eliminates co-elutions and significantly lowers the detection limits.

Our GC-GC-MS/O systems are each equipped with an autosampler for an automated and continuous analysis of multiple samples.