Oxidative rancidity is one of the main causes of food spoilage. It results directly from the reaction of unsaturated fatty acids with oxygen, which results in the release of volatile aldehydes. Volatile aldehydes have a very strong and pungent odour and are characterised by very low odour thresholds. Consequently, very sensitive instrumentation is required in order to spot food spoilage at an early stage.
We have developed an on-line platform that uses SPME with on-fibre derivatisation for automated analysis of aldehydes in combination with GC/MS. The system is based on the twin approach, in which loading the fibre with derivatisation agent is carried out by one ‘child’ and SPME with the other.