BACKGROUND: The origin of the raw spirits influences the sensory quality of rectified spirits that are subsequently used for the production of vodka. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of two methods based on the comparison of profiles of volatile compounds [solid phase microextraction–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) and gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID)] for the determination of origin of raw spirits obtained from rye, corn (maize) and potato.
RESULTS: Profiles obtained for the volatile compounds by using these methods were different and were influenced by the sample introduction method. The main groups of volatiles obtained using SPME-GC-MS method were fatty acid ethyl esters, while in the case of GC-FID fusel alcohols and ethyl acetate dominated. Data obtained from these methods were treated using principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis to test the possibility of sample differentiation and classification. It was relatively easy to differentiate potato spirits from the remainder; however, it was not possible to fully distinguish the corn samples from rye samples. The classification ability of the SPME-GC-MS method was 95% but the prediction ability was 97.4%. For the GC-FID method the classification ability was 90.1%, whereas the prediction ability was 94.27%.
CONCLUSIONS: The methods presented can be used for reliable differentiation of potato spirits from corn and rye spirits. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry