Characterization of the volatile fraction emitted by Pinus spp. by one- and two-dimensional chromatographic techniques with mass spectrometric detection
The chemical composition of the needles of P. pinea, P. pinaster, P. halepensis, P. nigra, P. brutia, P. patula, P. radiata, P. taeda, P. elliotti, P. kesiya, P. sylvestris and P. eldarica was investigated. Headspace solid-phase microextraction and steam distillation extraction were used to collect the volatile fractions. Samples were analyzed using one-dimensional gas chromatography (1D-GC) and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) associated with a quadrupole and a time-of-flight mass detectors. Results showed that the analytical capabilities of 1D-GC are partially limited by the separation power of the columns. The higher sensibility and the absence of peak skewing of the time-of-flight mass analyzer, with the use of automated peak finding and deconvolution algorithms, allowed for the detection of trace components with qualitative full spectra and the extraction of true mass spectra from coeluting compounds, promoting their reliable identification and thus significantly improving results obtained by 1D-GC/MS, when using a quadrupole mass analyzer. The use of GC × GC resulted in enhanced separation efficiency and increased signal to noise ratio (sensitivity) of the analytes, maximizing mass spectra quality and improving compound detection and identification. This work shows the use of 1D-GC/ToFMS for the analysis of pine needles volatiles, achieving the detection of 177 compounds, that is more than twice the number previously identified by standard 1D-GC/MS. The analysis by GC × GC for the same sample allowed the detection of 212 compounds. The enantioselective GC × GC analysis performed for all the Pinus spp. under study achieved the detection of 422 different compounds. Cross-over phenomena according to operational conditions are highlighted and discussed.