Research Areas

Total Product Profiling

Mass spectral libraries are invaluable tools when analyzing complex samples such as food, beverages, fragrances, fuels, and metabolites by GC/MS.  These libraries enable analysts to quickly identify target compounds and unknowns when sample mass spectra are unencumbered by matrix noise. By definition, complex samples produce unresolved chromatograms making compound identity near impossible using standard data analysis software.  Although mass spectral deconvolution can untangle target compound spectra from chemical noise, clean spectra are needed to create the libraries.

To obtain clean spectra from actual samples such as food/beverage and petroleum products, multidimensional “sequential” separation techniques offer the best opportunity to identify each and every component.  Research centers on developing GC-GC/MS, LC-GC/MS, and LC-LC/MS technologies, methods, and strategies to optimize separation space.  Based on this approach, we can build libraries of compounds from the samples of interest.  Although time-consuming, once separation is done and the libraries made, 1-dimensional GC/MS and LC/MS is done, where data analysis relies on the Ion FingerprintTM deconvolution algorithms we developed.  Quantitative identification is also an aim.

This research should lead to studies in which spoilage, shelf-life, quality control, and product comparisons can more easily be accomplished.  Research centered on metabolomics profiling is also a focus.  Companies interested in pursuing collaboration should contact Dr. Robbat.

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