Coffee aroma is a very complex mixture of volatile components, whose quality depends on the specie and on the geographical origin of the green coffee beans, as well as on the postharvesting treatments, among which the roasting is one of the most important processes.
During the roasting phase, the green beans are subjected to a series of reactions that leads to physical changes, such as loss of water, swelling and browning and to chemical changes, with the generation of a very wide number of volatile components.
Main chemical reactions involved in aroma formation during roasting are the Maillard or non-enzymatic browning reactions that occur between nitrogen containing substances (such as amino acids and peptides) and carbohydrates, and caramelization, the transformation of reducing sugars as a result of higher heat treatment.
Since differences in times and temperatures of roasting process may lead to a very different concentration of essential contributors, the roasting procedures are crucial for the quality of the final coffee aroma. Therefore, in order to improve comprehension and process optimization of roasting procedures, the analytical characterization can be very useful and informative tool.
The use of a Dynamic Headspace sampler equipped with a triple layer trap allows to enrich all the species generated during coffee roasting and to analyze them on a GC-MS system without any sample loss. Moreover, the employment of a GCxGC approach in comparison with a conventional one offers an improved separation power and, as a consequence, a more reliable sample characterization. In addition, the fast acquisition rate of DANI Master TOF MS Plus, up to 1000 spectra/s, guarantees a valid peak reconstruction for proper compounds identification

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