Fragrance Components in Alcoholic Beverages
The volatile components in whiskey were analyzed by a headspace gas chromatography analysis system. After a commercially available whiskey was sealed in a 5 mL vial and heated to 100 °C for 60 minutes, 0.4 mL of headspace gas was injected into the GC.
Many components contribute to the aroma of alcoholic beverages. The ones playing major roles are lower alcohols and lower ethyl esters. Ethyl esters impart a sweet, fruity aroma. Analysis of these components is particularly important when analyzing Japanese sake. The headspace GC analysis system provides high-sensitivity analysis of volatile fragrance components.
The sample is sealed in a vial and heated at constant temperature for a fixed time. The gas phase containing the volatile components is drawn into the GC for separation and analysis. Headspace GC can be used to analyze volatile components in the gas phase driven off a heated liquid sample or to analyze volatile components generated by a solid sample. The headspace method achieves highly sensitive analysis of volatile components without the need for complex pretreatment.