Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Monitoring of food spoilage by high resolution THz analysis

Author affiliations


High resolution rotational Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has been widely applied to the studies of numerous polar gas phase molecules, in particular volatile organic compounds (VOCs). During the storage of foodstuffs packed under a protective atmosphere, microbial activity will lead to the generation of a complex mixture of trace gases that could be used as food spoilage indicators. Here we have demonstrated that the THz instrumentation presently available provides sufficient sensitivity and selectivity to monitor the generation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the headspace of packed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fillet portions. A comprehensive comparison was made using selective-ion flow-tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) in order to validate the THz measurements and the protocol. The detectivity of a range of alternative compounds for this application is also provided, based on the experimental detection limit observed and molecular spectroscopic properties. Molecules like ethanol, methyl mercaptan and ammonia are suitable indicators with the presently available sensitivity levels, while dimethyl sulfide, acetone and butanone may be considered with a sensitivity improvement of 2 orders of magnitude.

Graphical abstract: Monitoring of food spoilage by high resolution THz analysis

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jun 2018, accepted on 16 Sep 2018 and first published on 17 Sep 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8AN01180J
Citation: Analyst, 2018, Advance Article
  •   Request permissions

    Monitoring of food spoilage by high resolution THz analysis

    F. Hindle, L. Kuuliala, M. Mouelhi, A. Cuisset, C. Bray, M. Vanwolleghem, F. Devlieghere, G. Mouret and R. Bocquet, Analyst, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8AN01180J

Search articles by author