Recent progress in food flavor analysis using gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS)

Food Chem. 2020 Jun 15;315:126158. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.126158. Epub 2020 Jan 7.


Rapid, nondestructive, high-throughput testing and screening of volatile ingredients plays an important role in food flavor analysis. Gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS) is a powerful technique for the separation and sensitive detection of volatile organic compounds. It has a fast response, high sensitivity, easy operation, and low cost. In this article, a brief introduction to the working principle of GC-IMS is presented. A summary of recent studies of different food flavor analysis applications is also provided, including food classification and adulteration, the evaluation of food freshness and spoilage, off-flavor detection, monitoring the processing of food products, and evaluation of aroma changes during food storage. Finally, future directions of GC-IMS are proposed.

Keywords: Adulteration; Food flavor; GC–IMS; Volatile organic compounds.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Gas / methods*
  • Chromatography, Gas / statistics & numerical data
  • Flavoring Agents / analysis
  • Food Additives / analysis
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Food Analysis / statistics & numerical data
  • Ion Mobility Spectrometry / methods*
  • Ion Mobility Spectrometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Odorants / analysis*
  • Quality Control
  • Taste
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Food Additives
  • Volatile Organic Compounds