Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) is proposed for isolating and determining the headspace volatiles formed during oxidation of fish-oil-in-water emulsions. Three different fiber coatings were tested and compared for sensitivity and reproducibility. A carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane (CAR-PDMS) fiber coating was found to be the most suitable for the analysis of emulsion volatiles. The main factors affecting the microextraction process on CAR-PDMS were then evaluated by a factorial design: amount of sample, time and temperature of extraction and stirring. The incubation of 0.5 g of emulsion at 60 degrees C during 30 min leads to the most effective extraction of volatiles associated with lipid oxidation of fish oil emulsions. The HS-SPME method coupled with GC-MS allowed the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the volatiles derived from oxidation of real fish oil enriched foods such as milk and mayonnaise. The method here proposed is very fast and simple and yields high sensitivity, with good repeatability for all target compounds.
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