Characterization of Food Products by GCxGC-TOFMS and GC-High Resolution TOFMS: A Food "omics" Approach
Gas chromatography (GC) paired with mass spectrometry (MS) is an effective tool for characterizing and distinguishing food products. Individual analytes can be isolated from complex food matrices with GC and identified with MS. This type of information provides food “omics” insight at various stages throughout production, including differentiation of raw materials, process changes, and finished products. As sample complexity increases, additional resolution can be gained with mathematical deconvolution of TOFMS data, two-dimensional GC (GC×GC), and/or with high-resolution MS (HR-TOFMS) to help isolate even more individual analytes. These analytical tools allowed for comparing food products by their chromatographic fingerprints, characterizing samples with the identification of individual analyte differences, and differentiating samples with PCA. These capabilities have implications in quality control, process optimization, and detection of food fraud, among others.