Flavour is an important quality trait of food and beverages. As the demand for natural aromas increases and the cost of raw materials go up, so does the potential for economically motivated adulteration. In this study, gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS) analysis of volatile fruit compounds, sampled using headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME), is used as a tool to differentiate between synthetic and naturally produced volatile aroma compounds (VOCs). The result is an extensive stable isotope database (IsoVoc-Isotope Volatile organic compounds) consisting of 39 authentic flavour compounds with well-defined origin: apple (148), strawberry (33), raspberry (12), pear (9), blueberry (7), and sour cherry (4) samples. Synthetically derived VOCs (48) were also characterised. Comparing isotope ratios of volatile compounds between distillates and fresh apples and strawberries proved the suitability of using fresh samples to create a database covering the natural variability in δ13C values and range of VOCs. In total, 25 aroma compounds were identified and used to test 33 flavoured commercial products to evaluate the usefulness of the IsoVoc database for fruit flavour authenticity studies. The results revealed the possible falsification for several fruit aroma compounds.
Keywords: IsoVoc; authenticity; database; fruits; gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS); headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME); volatile aroma compounds.