Determination of ageing time of spirits in oak barrels using a headspace–mass spectrometry (HS-MS) electronic nose system and multivariate calibration

Martí, M. Pilar; Pino, Jorge; Boqué, Ricard; Busto, Olga; Guasch, Josep
May 2005
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;May2005, Vol. 382 Issue 2, p440
Academic Journal
The aromatic composition of sugar cane spirits and, in general, of alcoholic beverages, is mainly influenced by the ageing process in wood barrels. There are several factors that affect the quality of the final aged product, but the time of the storage in the barrel is perhaps the most important one. Ageing time must therefore be controlled in order to detect counterfeits; however, this parameter is very difficult to control and, at present, there is no analytical method available to determine it. We propose a quantitative method for determining the ageing time of sugar cane spirits in oak barrels by using an electronic nose based on coupling directly a headspace sampler to a mass spectrometer (HS-MS), and multivariate calibration. The method developed is simple and provides, in 5 min, the ageing time of spirits with an accuracy of about 1 month.


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