Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry fingerprinting of Brazilian artisan cachaça aged in different wood casks

Patterson P de Souza, Helmuth G L Siebald, Daniella V Augusti, Waldomiro B Neto, Vanessa M Amorim, Rodrigo R Catharino, Marcos N Eberlin, Rodinei Augusti
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2007 March 21, 55 (6): 2094-102
We have investigated the capability of direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry in the negative ion mode, ESI(-)-MS, to differentiate representative samples of artisan cachaça, a Brazilian sugar cane distillate of large production, aged in four different types of wood casks: amburana (Amburana cearensis), jequitibA (Cariniana estrellensis), balm (Myroxylon peruiferum), and oak (Quercus rubra). The ESI(-)-MS were found to be very characteristic, showing sets of diagnostic ions for each of the four types of samples: amburana (m/z 271, 313, 377), jequitibA (m/z 143, 171, 255), balm (m/z 137, 269, 283, 297), and oak (m/z 197, 301, 307). Furthermore, principal component (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), applied to the ESI(-)-MS data, divided these samples into four definite categories. The influence of the aging time on the ESI(-)-MS fingerprints of the cachaça samples stored in oak casks was also established. An inversion in the relative intensity of the diagnostic ions of m/z 307 and 301 is detected in the ESI(-)-MS as the aging time increased from 1 to 2 years. The chemical structures of the major cachaça components were proposed on the basis of the following: (a) the comparison of the ESI(-)-MS/MS of the diagnostic anions with those of the authentic anions or (b) the interpretation of the fragmentation patterns of the previously unknown diagnostic anions. Hence, direct infusion ESI(-)-MS allows not only a rapid, simple, and accurate way to distinguish among cachaça samples stored in different wood casks but also monitoring changes in their chemical composition according to the aging time.

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