Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry combined with solid phase microextraction as a powerful tool for quantification of ethyl carbamate in fortified wines. The case study of Madeira wine

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Authors: Rosa Perestrelo, Sílvia Petronilho, José S. Câmara, Sílvia M. Rocha


An analytical methodology based on headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) combined with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography—time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC–ToFMS) was developed for the identification and quantification of the toxic contaminant ethyl carbamate (EC) directly in fortified wines. The method performance was assessed for dry/medium dry and sweet/medium sweet model wines, and for quantification purposes, calibration plots were performed for both matrices using the ion extraction chromatography (IEC) mode (m/z 62). Good linearity was obtained with a regression coefficient (r2) higher than 0.981. A good precision was attained (R.S.D. <20%) and low detection limits (LOD) were achieved for dry (4.31 μg/L) and sweet (2.75 μg/L) model wines. The quantification limits (LOQ) and recovery for dry wines were 14.38 μg/L and 88.6%, whereas for sweet wines were 9.16 μg/L and 99.4%, respectively. The higher performance was attainted with sweet model wine, as increasing of glucose content improves the volatile compound in headspace, and a better linearity, recovery and precision were achieved. The analytical methodology was applied to analyse 20 fortified Madeira wines including different types of wine (dry, medium dry, sweet, and medium sweet) obtained from several harvests in Madeira Island (Portugal). The EC levels ranged from 54.1 μg/L (medium dry) to 162.5 μg/L (medium sweet).

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