Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 9, pp 3787–3795 | Cite as

Proton transfer reaction–mass spectrometry: online and rapid determination of volatile organic compounds of microbial origin

  • Andrea Romano
  • Vittorio Capozzi
  • Giuseppe SpanoEmail author
  • Franco Biasioli


Analytical tools for the identification and quantification of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by microbial cultures have countless applications in an industrial and research context which are still not fully exploited. The various techniques for VOC analysis generally arise from the application of different scientific and technological philosophies, favoring either sample throughput or chemical information. Proton transfer reaction–mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) represents a valid compromise between the two aforementioned approaches, providing rapid and direct measurements along with highly informative analytical output. The present paper reviews the main applications of PTR-MS in the microbiological field, comprising food, environmental, and medical applications.


Mass spectrometry PTR-MS Microorganism Volatile organic compound VOC Bacteria 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

253_2015_6528_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (713 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 712 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Romano
    • 1
  • Vittorio Capozzi
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Spano
    • 2
    Email author
  • Franco Biasioli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Quality and Nutrition, Research and Innovation CentreFondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)San Michele all’AdigeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental SciencesUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly

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