A Comparison Study of Different Capillary Columns for Analysis of Alcohol Congeners in Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages contain a wide range of volatile components, primary of which are alcohols and short-chain aldehydes. To ensure consistency in the quality and flavour of the finished products, distilleries and alcoholic beverage manufacturers monitor the presence and relative levels of these compounds. Gas chromatography (GC) is usually the preferred technique in analysing these compounds. Fifteen components are monitored by ethanol distilleries and alcoholic beverage manufacturers in the Philippines. The Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) and the Commission of the European communities have published methods for the analysis of fusel oils, methanol, ethanol, aldehydes and higher alcohols by GC in spirit drinks and distilled liquors. The conventional GC methods for alcoholic beverage analysis are based on packed column, because glass tubing material for the packed column is inert, rarely causes tailing or decomposition of samples and minimizes interaction between the target component and the walls of the tube. However, packed glass columns are prone to breakage and may cause adsorption of the more reactive components present in alcoholic beverages. Most modern GC instruments are configured for capillary column use for the inherent advantages over packed columns such as more efficient separation, narrower peaks and consequently, lower limits of detection. This motivates an investigation into the potential of using capillary column in separating alcohols, aldehydes and other congeners typically found in alcoholic beverages. In this study, four capillary columns are selected and their performance are compared with packed column in terms of separation of all key components found in alcoholic beverages.

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Gas Chromatography
GC, Congeners, Alcoholic Beverages, Food and Beverages, GC-2010
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