Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 3338–3349 | Cite as

A Novel Method for Detection of Fusel Oil in Wine by the Use of Headspace Gas Chromatography

  • Zhong-Sheng Tang
  • Xin-An ZengEmail author
  • Charles S. Brennan
  • Wei-Qi Xie


Fusel oils (FOs) are higher alcohols (including propanol, isobutanol, isoamylol, and active amyl alcohol), which affect the aroma profiles and flavor profiles of wine. A novel method for determination of FOs in lychee wine was developed using headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC). Results showed that 12% standard curve (SC) can be used to determinate the FOs of low alcoholic beverages, yet 40% SC can be used for high alcoholic beverages (e.g., brandy). Optimization of the parameters of equilibrium temperature at 50 °C was maintained for 30 min. The stabilized gas-liquid phase ratio of 3:1 for further research had no significant differences with others, which is caused by the distribution coefficient of K ≫ 100. The addition of sodium chloride (NaCl) decreased the partition coefficient of FOs markedly, and an inverse situation was observed for the extraction of FOs saturating at 1.25 g NaCl in 5 mL LW. Relative standard deviations (RSD) of reproducibility tests were in the range of 1.03–4.91%. Meanwhile, the mean recoveries of low, middle, and high concentration levels were 100.94, 103.2, and 96.74%, respectively. HS-GC was a stabilized, concise, and efficient method compared with the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) method of OIV-MA-BS-14. These findings provide a foundation to determine higher alcohols of alcoholic beverages.


Fusel oils Partition coefficient Headspace gas chromatography Lychee wine 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21576099, 21376094) as well as S&T projects of Guangdong Province (2015A030312001 and 2013B020203001).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Zhong-Sheng Tang declares that he has no conflict of interest. Xin-An Zeng declares that he has no conflict of interest. Charles S. Brennan declares that he has no conflict of interest. Wei-Qi Xie declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhong-Sheng Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin-An Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Charles S. Brennan
    • 3
  • Wei-Qi Xie
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Food Science and EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Food Green Processing and Nutrition Regulation Research Center of Guangdong ProvinceSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Wine, Food and Molecular BiosciencesLincoln UniversityCanterburyNew Zealand
  4. 4.School of Materials Science and EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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