Environmental monitoring and assessment

Analysis of volatile organic compounds released during food decaying processes.

PMID 21541778


A number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, ethylbenzene, m,p-xylene, styrene, and o- xylene released during food decaying processes were measured from three types of decaying food samples (Kimchi (KC), fresh fish (FF), and salted fish (SF)). To begin with, all the food samples were contained in a 100-mL throwaway syringe. These samples were then analyzed sequentially for up to a 14-day period. The patterns of VOC release contrasted sharply between two types of fish (FF and SF) and KC samples. A comparison of data in terms of total VOC showed that the mean values for the two fish types were in the similar magnitude with 280 ± 579 (FF) and 504 ± 1,089 ppmC (SF), while that for KC was much lower with 16.4 ± 7.6 ppmC. There were strong variations in VOC emission patterns during the food decaying processes between fishes and KC that are characterized most sensitively by such component as styrene. The overall results of this study indicate that concentration levels of the VOCs differed significantly between the food types and with the extent of decaying levels through time.