Elucidation of the aroma compositions of Zhenjiang aromatic vinegar using comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-olfactometry
In this work, a method to characterize the aroma compounds of Zhenjiang aromatic vinegar (ZAV) was developed using comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) and gas chromatography olfactometry (GC-O). The column combination was optimized and good separation was achieved. Structured chromatograms of furans and pyrazines were obtained and discussed. A total of 360 compounds were tentatively identified based on mass spectrum match factors, structured chromatogram and linear retention indices comparison. The most abundant class in number was ketones. A large number of esters, furans and derivatives, aldehydes and alcohols were also detected. The odor-active components were identified by comparison of the reported odor of the identified compounds with the odor of corresponding GC-O region. The odorants of methanethiol, 2-methyl-propanal, 2-methyl-butanal/3-methyl-butanal, octanal, 1-octen-3-one, dimethyl trisulfide, trimethyl-pyrazine, acetic acid, 3-(methylthio)-propanal, furfural, benzeneacetaldehyde, 3-methyl-butanoic acid/2-methyl-butanoic acid and phenethyl acetate were suspected to be the most potent. About half of them were identified as significant aroma constituents in ZAV for the first time. Their contribution to specific sensory attribute of ZAJ was also studied. The results indicated that the presented method is suitable for characterization of ZAV aroma constituents. This study also enriches our knowledge on the components and aroma of ZAV.