The Selectable 1D/2D-GC-Olfactometry/Mass Spectrometry System

Enhanced separation and identification of key odor compounds

The GERSTEL Selectable 1D/2D-GC-MS system enables multidimensional GC with simultaneous olfactometry (GERSTEL ODP 4) and mass spectrometric detection for both 1D and 2D GC analysis (1D/2D-GC-O/MS), extending the odor active compound identification and separation capabilities of GC. Based on a single GC-MS instrument, this configuration provides a solution for enhanced separation with a much smaller footprint than traditional setups (e.g., two GC ovens) The configuration can be used for routine 1D-GC-MS analysis in addition to two-dimensional heartcutting GC (2D-GC) for more complex problem-solving without any hardware changes.

Features and advantages over comprehensive 2D GC:

  • The selection of 1D-GC-MS or 2D-GC-MS operation is easily performed by simple changes in the method, providing the analyst with the flexibility to run 1D-GC-MS separately when heartcutting is not required.
  • Chromatographic fractions that are affected by co-elution of matrix or other analytes can be identified with 1D-GC and subsequently heartcut to the second column for additional separation.
  • Analyte monitoring and detection is performed by the same detector(s) for both 1D- and 2D-GC, including MSD, ODP, and PFPD, enabling identification of odor active compounds.
  • The system is compatible with any GERSTEL sample introduction technique, including liquid or headspace injection, solid phase microextraction, thermal desorption, and dynamic headspace.

Combined 1D and 2D chromatogram obtained from multidimensional GC-MS analysis of poultry seasoning. The heartcut fraction is highlighted in the 1D chromatogram and the separation of the coeluting peaks (isoledene and ylangene) is demonstrated in the 2D chromatogram.

Technical features

  • Agilent Technologies capillary flow technology enables the transfer of chromatographic fractions of interest to a second column.
  • Low thermal mass (LTM) GC column modules are employed to rapidly heat and cool each dimension independently.
  • The first column can be backflushed following the heartcut(s) to accelerate analysis and eliminate potential interferences in the 2D chromatogram.
  • Lower detection limits can be achieved by heartcutting from replicate injections with cryofocusing using the GERSTEL Cryogenic Trapping System (CTS). The accumulated sections are then transferred to the 2nd dimension once there is sufficient mass on column to perform the determination.


The GERSTEL MAESTRO software provides comprehensive integration with Agilent Technologies GC ChemStation/MassHunter for easy and convenient set-up of sample introduction, routine 1D GC-MS analysis and heartcutting 2D-GC. Parameters for the heating and cooling of the CTS are defined in the MAESTRO platform. Data from the ODP is collected through the ODP Recorder software, which is also integrated with the Agilent GC acquisition software. One method and one sample list control the entire system from injection to olfactometry and mass spectrometric detection.

Application Areas

This system configuration has been successfully used for flavor and fragrance analysis of foods, beverages, and personal care products. To read more about the applications of selectable 1D/2D-GC-O/MS, check the GERSTEL, Inc. website for application notes on multidimensional GC:


Multidimensional GC Application Notes