This study demonstrates that GC–TOF-MS can be a useful approach to generate comprehensive fragrance profiles of essential oils. Peak deconvolution enables discrimination between closely eluted compounds, and soft electron ionization, assisted by comparison of ion ratios, makes it possible to discriminate between isomeric monoterpenes with very similar mass spectra at conventional 70-eV ionization energies.
The inherent sensitivity and selectivity of time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) can be augmented by soft electron ionization (EI) to provide ultratrace-level quantitation of organotins in complex environmental extracts. These organotin species are a focus of current concern as environmental contaminants, but analysis using conventional 70 eV ionization energies is made difficult by their propensity to undergo extensive fragmentation. The use of soft EI helps to solve this problem by producing simplified spectra with enhanced diagnostic ions.
Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC–TOF-MS) can be used to detect trace-level fungicides and compounds responsible for undesirable attributes known as “organoleptic faults” in wine. Of particular interest is the analysis of trace-level fungicides, which are difficult to detect using conventional quadrupole GC–MS techniques without resorting to selected ion monitoring mode.