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Detection of Poultry Spoilage Markers from Headspace Analysis with Cryoadsorption on a Short Alumina PLOT Column



Tara Lovestead, Thomas J. Bruno


A rapid and simple diagnostic tool for the detection of meat spoilage as early as possible would be invaluable to ensure meat quality during production, distribution and retail. Recently, we developed an improved purge and trap method for sampling low volatility compounds by applying low temperature collection on short alumina-coated porous layer open tubular (PLOT) columns. This method was applied to the analysis of both fresh and spoiled poultry to identify marker compounds to be used as indicators for poultry spoilage. Samples of chopped chicken breast were crimp-sealed in individual autosampler vials and maintained at 25 °C for either a day or for two weeks. Two weeks was determined to be sufficient for severe spoilage. The headspace was then sampled by cryoadsorption for 10, 20 or 30 minutes, and the analytes were identified and quantified with gas chromatography and mass spectrometric detection. Six potential markers for poultry spoilage were identified in the headspace of spoiled chicken: dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, phenyl sulfide, methyl thiolacetate, allyl methyl sulfide, and 2,4,6-trimethylpyridine. Additionally, isophorone was detected in the headspace of both the fresh and the spoiled chicken.
Food Chemistry


adsorption, chicken, gas chromatograpy, headspace, mass spectrometry, purge and trap, spoilage


Lovestead, T. and Bruno, T. (2010), Detection of Poultry Spoilage Markers from Headspace Analysis with Cryoadsorption on a Short Alumina PLOT Column, Food Chemistry, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created August 14, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021