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Differences in the Volatile Compositions of French Labeled Brandies (Armagnac, Calvados, Cognac, and Mirabelle) Using GC-MS and PLS-DA

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journal contribution
posted on 14.07.2010 by Jérôme Ledauphin, Claude Le Milbeau, Daniel Barillier, Didier Hennequin
A total of 207 volatile compounds were identified in extracts of four French labeled brandies: Armagnac, Cognac, Calvados, and Mirabelle. Relative levels of all components were determined using GC-MS after integration of a selected peak of the mass spectrum of each. Each type of brandy could be clearly discriminated using PLS-DA statistical analyses based on these levels. French Mirabelle spirit, which was studied for the first time, was characterized by higher levels of many aldehydes and acetals and by the presence of compounds having an odd number of carbons together with benzaldehyde and some of its derivatives. Many possible derivatives of acrolein and high amounts of butan-2-ol were rather specific for the volatile composition of Calvados. The most important difference between the two wine-based samples seemed to be directly linked to the distillation system used. Many furanic compounds are specific to Cognac, whereas two or three compounds such as 1-(ethoxyethoxy)-2-methylbutane and γ-eudesmol were specific to Armagnac. These two brandies presented rather high distributions of isobutanol and isopentanols, whereas Mirabelle and Calvados compositions offer more concentrated aliphatic linear alcohols.