• Real-time process monitoring and instantaneous feedback
  • Single, selective analysis of chemically diverse compounds
  • High sensitivity and wide linear range
  • Direct analysis with no sample preparation
  • In-vivo studies of enzyme-induced flavor release

SIFT-MS: a robust and versatile solution for continuous process monitoring, and rapid headspace and in vivo analysis

Flavors and aromas are primarily derived from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemically very diverse, impart a wide range of favorable and unfavorable sensations to the human nose, and have a wide range of sensory thresholds. Therefore, for effective instrumental analysis
a combination of characteristics is required.

SIFT-MS provides a unique solution, analyzing air directly and without the need for sample modification. Here we outline several SIFT-MS-based food, flavor and fragrance solutions that Syft provides.

Industry Challenges

  • Traditional analytical techniques for measuring flavor compounds are slow and unsuitable for dynamic measurements
  • The complexity of food samples usually requires multiple columns/methodologies for the same sample
  • Additional sample preparation steps are required for analysis of humid samples and small polar compounds – leading to reduced recovery and increased analytical uncertainty

How Syft can help

  • Direct analysis – with no sample preparation – preserves sample integrity and reduces analytical uncertainty, thereby contributing to lower OpEx
  • Real-time monitoring of processes provides instant feedback, assisting with improved quality assurance within manufacturing facilities
  • Faster analysis time allows for higher product throughput and increased profit
  • Reduced CapEx through utilization of one instrument for analysis of chemically diverse flavor volatiles, including sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compounds


The SIFT-MS technique provides rapid, high sensitivity static or dynamic headspace analysis of aroma compounds without sample preparation and compound discrimination. Benefits include:

  • Simple, non-destructive sample analysis.
  • High robustness to humidity.
  • All analytes are analyzed without discrimination (no chromatographic columns or SPME fibers).
  • No artifacts arising from selective uptake, chemical reactions, or matrix damage that occur as a result of solvent extraction, preconcentration, etc.

The outcome is rapid chemical analysis that better correlates with human aroma perception than other analytical techniques. Industry applications of SIFT-MS headspace analysis include:

  • Product development (e.g. flavor matching; analyzing competitor products)
  • Screening and troubleshooting raw material quality issues.

Headspace concentrations of selected VOCs in nine monofloral New Zealand honeys

Analysis of dynamic processes

Real-time SIFT-MS analysis of volatiles evolved from a single coffee bean during roasting. A coffee bean cracks twice during the roasting process, releasing bursts of volatiles


SIFT-MS allows real-time monitoring of various flavor-generating or flavor- modifying processes, such as:

  • Enzymatic changes (e.g. in tomatoes, onions)
  • Roasting and other cooking processes (e.g. coffee, cocoa and dairy powders)
  • Mixing and grinding (e.g. conching of chocolate).

Real-time analysis using SIFT-MS provides unparalleled insights into the processes by which flavors develop. By applying SIFT-MS analysis, optimal aroma development can be achieved and formation of aroma defects prevented. Industry applications include:

  • Product development
  • Process optimization
  • Process-line monitoring.


Sensory testing benchmarks consumer acceptance of food and fragrance products. Flavor and aroma are important aspects of product acceptance.

Sensory testing for aroma and flavor is, however, expensive, subject to fatigue and is very difficult to conduct on the process line.

SIFT-MS is increasingly applied as a real-time, objective flavor analysis tool in both on-line and off-line scenarios. The example shows Parmesan cheeses of Italian (red data) and New Zealand (brown) origin discriminated using SIFT- MS analysis of odor-active compounds. Industry applications include:

  • Product development
  • Finished product testing (lower cost than sensory panels)
  • Quality control
  • Process-line monitoring.
Parmesan cheese aroma meaasurement

New Zealand Parmesan cheeses using combined SIFT-MS analysis of odor-active compounds and multivariate statistical analysis

Flavor analysis of menthol and menthone from a chewy gum

SIFT-MS analysis of the in-mouth release of menthol and menthone from a chewy peppermint flavoured sweet


Real-time analysis, coupled with high sensitivity and robustness to humidity, enables flavor release to be monitored in vivo using SIFT-MS. Retronasal and mouth sampling are readily accommodated.

Flavor release is a very important consideration in overall sensory perception and hence for new product development. These considerations are particularly important in:

  • Ensuring that the flavors of reduced-fat products match closely those of their standard-fat counterparts.
  • Establishing that flavor encapsulation is effective.

Industry application:

  • Product development.

Image of the Syft Voice 200 ultra


Self-contained Selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) platform capable of autonomous 24/7 monitoring of VOCs and inorganic gases.


Auto-validation inlet allows switching between sample, calibration standard, and background gas streams.

Gerstel MPS autosampler

Multi-purpose sampler available with wide range of accessories to meet diverse automated analysis needs.

Gerstel Maestro software

Powerful control and scheduling software for the Gerstel MPS.Autosampler integration kit – allows for rapid (in excess of 100 samples/hour) automated sample analysis, through integration with Gerstel autosamplers.


Software package for viewing and analyzing SIFT-MS data from multiple instruments, customizing analyses, and interacting with the Voice200ultra.

Compound Library

Access detection and quantitation parameters for over 1000 compounds to leverage the diverse capability of the platform.

Get in touch for more information on our Food, Flavor and Fragrance solutions

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