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Identification of alkylpyrazines by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS)

Xu, Sihang, Errabelli, Ramu, Feener, Donald H., Noble, Katherine, Attygalle, Athula B.
Journal of chromatography 2019 v.1589 pp. 149-161
databases, food additives, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, positional isomers, pyrazines
Pyrazines are an important group of natural products widely used as food additives and fragrants. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) is the most widely applied analytical technique for characterization of alkylpyrazines. However, mass spectra of many positional isomers of alkylpyrazines are very similar. Consequently, an unambiguous identification of each positional isomer by spectral interpretation or database search protocols is practically unfeasible. In fact, there are many misidentifications in literature. To identify alkylpyrazines, chemists often resort to gas chromatographic retention indices (RIs). Although there are many compilations of retention indices of alkylpyrazines, these databases are often incomplete and the values reported are sometimes inconsistent. Herein, we present retention indices of fifty-six alkylpyrazines recorded on DB-1, ZB-5MS, DB-624, and ZB-WAXplus stationary phases, and compare them with those available in the NIST-2017 MS-RI database. Furthermore, we demonstrate how RI values can be used, together with mass spectral interpretations, to identify certain alkylpyrazines unambiguously.