Gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) are by far the most important analytical techniques in the perfumery industry. Perfumery industries and home and personal care companies rely primarily on GC and GC/MS for unravelling fragrance formulations, as well as for quality control and trace analysis.
It is worth noting that fragrance materials are composed of a wide range of compounds blended to create sophisticated perfumes. Nowadays several thousand ingredients are known and fragrances are built of 30 to 50, and sometimes up to 200 ingredients.
Surely, as in all other industrial sectors, perfumery industries also benefit from the use of faster analyses; applied in the  continuous research for new odour-active molecules as well as for quality control purposes. The GC approaches to speed up analysis include the utilization of shorter capillary columns with decreased column internal diameter and thinner stationary phase film thickness, higher carrier gas velocities, and faster GC oven temperature programming rates.
However, even if automated instrumentation and optimized Fast GC methods are used, co-elution of some perfume ingredients is observed for almost any fragrance material. The generation of very narrow peaks (typical peak widths of 0.5 seconds or less) results in crowded chromatograms, thus requiring mass spectrometric detection with high acquisition rates. The Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (TOF-MS) is the only technology able to provide high speed acquisition rate to collect sufficient information (15-20 points/peak) for reliable reconstruction of these very narrow peaks over the entire mass range. Thereby enabling accurate recognition and quantification of unknown and co-eluting peaks, even in trace level concentrations.
The present application note investigates the suitability of an innovative Fast GC/TOF-MS system, supported by an original software, to reliably analyze perfumery materials. Two distinct methods are compared.


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