banner 14. Permeation of volatile organic compounds into packaged beer—Tools for practice oriented simulation and analysis

N. RETTBERG (1); (1) VLB Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Technical Session 4 - Flavor and Product Stability I
Monday, June 15
10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Fiesta 3,4,6,8

Distribution of packaged beer from brewery to point of sale is a critical process, especially when beer is subject to long-distance transport such as overseas shipping. Heat, light, humidity, and movement are factors that may alter the integrity of packaging materials as well as beer quality. In addition, packaged beer may be exposed to an environment polluted by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs may be released by microbial attack on wooden pallets, as vapors from cardboard boxes, but can also be emitted from other cargo or machinery of the transport vehicle. In order to ensure product quality and safety packaging materials such as crown cork (liners), PET bottles, and closures are frequently evaluated for their barrier properties concerning O2 uptake or CO2 loss. A permeation test for VOCs is rare, and even trace concentrations of some compounds (e.g. chlorophenols such as 2,4,6-trichloroanisole) are known to have negative impact on the organoleptic properties of foods. This paper presents the experimental setup for practice oriented permeation testing of packaging materials for VOCs. Permeation testing includes an experimental setup to simulate long-distance transports under defined and controlled VOC atmosphere, as well as sophisticated analytical tools for identification and quantification of possible contaminants. Depending on the VOCs employed in permeation testing GC-NCI-MS and GC-MS/MS combined with stable isotope dilution assays ensure the highest accuracy of the analytical data. In addition to a detailed description of permeation testing and analysis, the paper includes analytical data recorded for different packaging materials under varying experimental conditions. The data will sensitize brewers to reassess their packaging testing procedures, especially if beer is designated for export trade.

Nils Rettberg (born 1983) is trained as a brewer and maltster, holding a diploma in biotechnology with a focus on brewing science from TU Berlin. Initiated by his diploma thesis on “Flavour Active Epoxydecenals from Lipid Oxidation,” he developed a deep interest in the analysis of those molecules that make beer taste either terribly good or horribly stale. From 2011 to 2014 Nils performed his doctoral thesis on “Comprehensive Analysis of Hop Secondary Metabolites” under the supervision of Prof. Leif-A. Garbe. Simultaneously, he was a research associate at TU Berlin (Chair of Bioanalytics) and VLB (Research Institute for Special Analyses), where he was involved in several research projects and teaching. In January 2015 Nils became head of the Research Institute for Special Analysis at VLB Berlin.

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