Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Mass spec on beer

Via Ars Technica: 
People have been brewing beer for millennia, and the basic chemistry of fermentation is well understood. But thanks to advanced analytical techniques, scientists continue to learn more about the many different chemical compounds that contribute to the flavor and aroma of different kinds of beer. The latest such analysis comes courtesy of a team of German scientists who analyzed over 400 commercial beers from 40 countries. The scientists identified at least 7,700 different chemical formulas and tens of thousands of unique molecules, according to a recent paper published in the journal Frontiers in Chemistry. And they did it with a new approach that can analyze a sample in just 10 minutes.

"Beer is an example of enormous chemical complexity," said co-author Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin of the Technical University of Munich and the Helmholtz Center in Munich. "And thanks to recent improvements in analytical chemistry, comparable in power to the ongoing revolution in the technology of video displays with ever-increasing resolution, we can reveal this complexity in unprecedented detail. Today it's easy to trace tiny variations in chemistry throughout the food production process, to safeguard quality or to detect hidden adulterations."

From the text of the article, it sounds like these folks are trying to track down rice and corn starches in beer. Here's my question - you inject 250 microliters of beer into the LC - what do you do with the rest of the sample? 


  1. You use the rest of the sample to run polymerization reactions, obviously.

    1. The methanol peak in the țuică NMR spectrum (Fig S2h) gets me every time.


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