As a sample preparation technique without extraction by organic solvent, headspace analysis is usually combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to analyze volatile organic compounds in complex matrices. Headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS) is a fast, efficient, green, and sensitive technique, and thus it plays an important role in routine analysis. A brief overview of static headspace, dynamic headspace, headspace solid-phase microextraction and GC-MS is provided, followed by the impact of the analysis system and the optimization process. According to the matrix type classification, the application of HS-GC-MS in the analysis of food samples, environment samples, biology samples, etc. is reviewed. This report clearly indicates that the ongoing research on HS-GC-MS is active and new applications are emerging. It has significant prospects for the analysis of volatile organic compounds.
Keywords: dynamic headspace (D-HS); gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS); headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME); review; static headspace (S-HS); volatile organic compounds (VOCs).