Coupling Retention Time Locked Methods and Libraries to Automated SPME or SBSE for Analysis of Flavors and Fragrances


App Note 7/2003

Analysis of foods, flavors and fragrances is commonly done by capillary gas chromatography coupled to a range of detectors depending on the particular needs of the analysis. Using Retention Time Locked (RTL) methods can facilitate the transfer from one instrument to another, particularly if different detectors (eg. MSD and FID) are used. Although liquid or headspace injection methods are often used for these analyses, difficult and time-consuming sample preparation steps, or lack of sensitivity are commonly encountered. Automated Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) or Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE) can often provide substantial improvements to existing methods. In this contribution, we illustrate the use of RTL methods and the Agilent RTL Flavor Library when the GERSTEL MPS 2 autosampler is used to automate either SPME or SBSE as sample extraction and introduction technique. Procedures are given for calibrating the GC method using either technique. RTL methods created for both sample introduction techniques could be moved from a GC/FID to a GC-MSD system with different column head pressure requirements. Calibrated RTL SPME or SBSE methods were then used to analyze several sample types that otherwise would pose significant matrix interference or detection limit issues. Example chromatograms with identifications based on the RTL flavor library are given.