Quantification of ethyl acetate using FAIMS

Morris, A. K. R.; Rush, M.; Parris, R.; Sheridan, S.; Ringrose, T.; Wright, I. P. and Morgan, G. H. (2010). Quantification of ethyl acetate using FAIMS. In: Analytical Research Forum 2010, 26-28 Jul 2010, Loughborough, UK, Authors.


The enjoyment of wine is based not only on its flavour but also its aroma. The presence of compounds, such as ethyl acetate, can add a desirable depth of body, richness and sweetness to a wine. However, if the levels exceed the human perception threshold (100 - 200 mg/l) an aroma similar to acetone becomes prevalent and the wine is regarded as spoilt.A study was undertaken to determine the concentration of ethyl acetate within wine using a Gas Chromatograph coupled with Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS).

The use of FAIMS (also known as Differential Mobility Spectrometry) as a selective detector has increasingly become prevalent within analytical science. There is now a vibrant community of researchers working with the technique and different commercial systems are readily available. Two such systems are the Tourist and Lonestar instruments available from Owlstone Ltd. The Owlstone systems are characterised by the sensor being a solid state device, which imposes constraints on operational parameters but also offers opportunities over comparable devices.

FAIMS technology requires the interaction of compounds both within the ionisation and separation region. To influence the interactions in these two regions studies were completed at elevated (compared to ambient) pressures and humidity. The study of ethyl acetate within wine provided an opportunity to investigate these effects and also provided a route for optimisation of the instrument for the study.

It was found, in contrast to a previously reported investigation, that increasing the pressure resulted in a greater resolution of compounds. A more complicated relationship was observed with respect to humidity, believed attributable to water being an important constituent of reactive and product ion formation. Additional effects due to the presence of co-solvents were observed and subsequently managed so as to provide increased sensitivity.

The quantification of ethyl acetate within wine was accomplished considerably below the human perception threshold providing the opportunity to better manage this multifarious compound throughout manufacture and the product lifecycle.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions