Solid Phase Micro Extraction of Flavor Compounds in Beers

Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) is a widely used sampling technique in the food analysis industry. SPME fibers are coated with a stationary phase that will extract analytes from the sample and onto the fiber for desorbtion and separation by Gas Chromatography (GC). The beauty of SPME is its simplicity. The SPME fiber is exposed to the sample headspace or solution and the stationary phase acts to soak up the analytes in the sample. Through use of different stationary phases, the SPME fiber can extract analytes of different polarities and volatilities by simply employing a stationary phase that best suits the needs of the application. Coupling SPME sampling with GC for separation and Mass Spectrometry (MS) for analysis provides an ideal method to discern flavor compounds. This paper will employ SPME in order to investigate the flavor composition of different beers providing an examination of what flavors beers have in common and what sets them apart.