The effects of electron beam irradiation on cork volatile compounds was studied at different doses (25, 100, 1000 kGy). Volatiles were isolated from cork using the dynamic headspace-sampling technique, then identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Similar gas chromatographic profiles were obtained for non-irradiated and irradiated corks. Quantitative differences induced by the three doses were evaluated by calculating peak areas for each compound identified. The quantitative differences between non-irradiated corks and those irradiated at 25 kGy were significant for only a few substances, whereas significant quantitative differences were found in samples irradiated at 100 and 1000 kGy. For these doses, the content of volatile compounds generally increased, especially that of aliphatic hydrocarbons and carbonyl compounds. The behaviour of radiolytic hydrocarbons indicates that the mechanisms proposed for their formation in irradiated foods could take place even in cork.
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometryDynamic headspace samplingCork volatilesElectron beam irradiationRadiolysis-induced compounds