Determination of acetaldehyde, methanol and fusel oils in distilled liquors and sakès by headspace gas chromatography

  • Yan Qin
  • Jung-Ah Shin
  • Ki-Teak LeeEmail author


In this study, a headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC) method was carried out to determine the contents of acetaldehyde, methanol and fusel oils in distilled liquors and sakès from different countries. A DB-Wax column was adopted in HS-GC, which showed good linearity, high precision and accuracy and low LOQ and LOD on all the compounds. Results showed that distilled liquors contained higher levels of acetaldehyde with the values of 12.88–35.53 mg/L than sakès (0.83–29.13 mg/L). Methanol was only detected in a few distilled liquors with small amounts. Amyl alcohols, including isoamyl alcohol (2-methyl-1-butanol) and active amyl alcohol (3-methyl-1-butanol), isobutanol (2-methyl-1-propanol) and 1-propanol were the main fusel oils among the distilled liquors and sakès analyzed. Amyl alcohols contents were 2 to 4 times higher in Korean distilled liquors (203.01–428.66 mg/L) than that in Chinese distilled liquors (28.52–42.77 mg/L) and all the sakès (61.90–166.59 mg/L).


Volatile compounds Distilled liquors Sakès Headspace gas chromatography Validation 



This research was supported by a Grant from Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (Grant No. 16162MFDS025) in 2016.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyChungnam National UniversityDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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