The applicability of selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry, SIFT-MS, for the study of the quality of meat and meat products in comparison to conventional techniques (SPME-GC-MS) has been investigated. To this end, two different approaches were followed. The first was to study the release of aroma compounds after saliva addition to fermented sausages and the second, the application of SIFT-MS and SPME-GC-MS to the detection of chemical spoilage in retail meat (raw and cooked). The headspace (HS) concentration of volatile compounds was influenced by saliva addition to the fermented sausage. SIFT-MS obtained better correlations than SPME-GC-MS between compound release and their molecular weight, MW, and hydrophobicity properties. Saliva differentially affected the release of the compounds, suppressing the release of hydrophilic and low MW compounds and either having little effect or enhancing the release of hydrophobic and higher MW compounds. These results provide preliminary explanations of aroma perception during eating. In addition, SIFT-MS was able to detect differences in the same way as SPME-GC-MS in fresh beef meat during refrigerated storage, but the differences were hardly detectable in cooked meat. Therefore, SIFT-MS can be used as a fast monitor of lipid oxidation changes in retail meat packaged in high oxygen atmospheres.
Keywords: Volatile compounds, flavor, meat, fermented sausage, meat products, aroma compounds, SIFT-MS, GC-MS, SPME.