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Investigating the quality of Darjeeling teas using comprehensive VOC fingerprints

This study demonstrates the use of immersive sorptive extraction and GC×GC–TOF MS to determine the characteristic flavour compounds in Darjeeling teas. Comparative analysis of different tea types and grades will be shown using streamlined workflows to improve quality assessment.

The characteristic flavour of Darjeeling tea is an important criterion in evaluating tea quality and can be measured objectively by analytical instruments such as gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. However, the complex blend of volatiles present in tea poses a significant challenge for conventional 1D GC separations.

Here, we demonstrate the use of automated immersive sorptive extraction coupled with GC×GC–TOF MS for comprehensive characterisation of tea volatiles. The BenchTOF2™ mass spectrometer used in this study not only provides excellent spectral fidelity, for confident matching against commercial libraries, but has the added benefit of Tandem Ionisation® to provide both hard and soft EI data in a single analysis. The complementary soft EI spectra improves chemical selectivity to enhance untargeted ‘discovery’ workflows – as required in quality and authenticity evaluation, where you may not know what compounds are important.

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