FlavourSpec®: Sensitive Analyser for Food, Flavour and Beverage testing

The FlavourSpec® comprises advantages of a Gas Chromatograph (GC) with regard to selectivity and outstanding sensitivity of an Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) enabling the analysis of volatiles in the headspace of liquids and solid samples without any sample pre-treatment.

The FlavourSpec operates isotherm in a range of 40-80°C and can be set to >100°C for baking out (cleaning). To better separate compounds the instrument uses a firmware steered ramping by its  integrated Electronic Pneumatic Controller. 

Besides the instrument itself the FlavourSpec® consists of an automatic headspace injector that does all sample conditioning. The operator just enters the measurement parameters (number of samples, conditioning and run time) via the very easy to operate menu on the sampler. 

The FlavourSpec provides an automatic data acquisition on the device and when connected to a PC 3-D data visualization and analysis by G.A.S.  Laboratory Analytical Viewer (LAV) software.  Besides the possibility of quantifying single marker compounds additional software plug-ins allow to easily detect the appearance of new compounds or the differences of their concentrations to a reference sample to further match peak pattern with sensory wise defined flavours. The result classifies differences from a selected reference (golden standard) to quickly characterize e.g. the quality of a sample. This concept follows the approach of the so-called electronic nose, but using a specific and reliable physical separation/detection of the volatile compounds by GC plus IMS instead.  

 Further to that the GCxIMS Library Search software tool is based on the NIST retention (Kovats) indices which consists of more than 80,000 compounds and which can further be extended by the IMS drift times to achieve maximum certainty for unknown compounds in samples.

Being particularly developed for the quality testing the FlavourSpec is characterized by hands-on functionalities and outstanding user friendliness that due to its outstanding sensitivity (low ppb/µg/L-range) does not require any sample pre-treatment. By that laborious and time consuming stripping using solvents can be avoided and most important samples can be analyzed at detection level of the human nose “as they are” without changing their characteristics.

All these characteristics together make the FlavourSpec a unique and innovative trend setting analytical tool with proven applications in several analytical fields at most renowned market leading global players of the food & beverage industry (e.g. control of raw material quality and storage conditions, flavour stability and off-flavour detection, process control, product quality test and authentication etc). 

If you are interested to received in viewing the operation video, please refer to the download area below.



Tobacco and cigarettes

Tobacco and cigarettes belong to the world's most important luxury foodstuffs/stimulants with a global  turnover in the high hundreds of billions USD. A sophisticated quality control regarding several aspects is a MUST.   

Regardless their general bad impact on human health there are several applications regarding tobacco/cigarette quality quality control from the industry's same as from the consumers' point of view that need to be addressed analytically. Starting with the control of tobacco leaves quality and their specific storage conditions wrt temperature and humidity, severe problems like fungal attack can occur that impede their further processing. Going down the value chain further subjects are of high interest:

  1. Determination of the aroma load/quality (blending) and stability

  2. Quality control of the finished product (cigarette/cigar)

  3.  Evaluating outgasing of packaging (inserts) to cigarettes

  4. Identifying genuine/counterfeit cigarettes

All above mentioned analytical assignments can be addressed using GC-IMS technology and have been successfully developed and/or implemented using G.A.S. instrumentation. Advantages such as short ananlysis time, a simplified workflow without sample pre-treatment and short analysis time of <15 minutes (inject-to-inject) are highly appreciated at the R&D centers of our multi national customers same as leading scientific institutes of the tobacco industry. 



Analysis of Olive Oil

High quality native olive oils is a pure and healthy natural product that stands out due to a complex and rich flavour. There is a mayor interest of all parties involved throughout the entire supply chain assure a best quality and pay an adequate price for it.

Due to its 2-dimensional separation capacity the GC-IMS set-up is an extremely powerful tool to enable a comprehensive analysis of olive oil. Moreover relevant volatile compounds that compose a unique flavour of the oil and finally decide how it is categorized require the sensitivity of the IMS sensor and a software that allows to handle the complex data of the 3-dimensional chromatograms and correlate them with hedeonistic results of sensory panels. Using the FalvourSpec and the 'LAV' software package a data base with regard to the several analytical questions around olive can be set up to impartially:

  1. Categorize different olive oil qualities

  2. Authenticate oils

  3. Evaluate storage conditions

  4. Define best before datesupply chain. 

Different analytical approaches like idenditfication and quantification of a set or individual (marker) compounds have been successfully followed using the FlavourSpec and prove the power of G.A.S. unique set-up.



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