Gas Chromatographic Analysis of Volatile Sulfur Compounds from Heated Milk Using Static Headspace Sampling

K. R. Christensen, G. A. Reineccius

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53 Scopus citations


An investigation was conducted to test the feasibility of using gas chromatography with static headspace sampling as an objective tool to measure milk flavor quality. Heated milk off-flavor was chosen for study. Different strategies were tried for increasing the sensitivity of a commercially available headspace method, including salting out with sodium sulfate, cryofocusing during injection, and applying backpressure to the sampling loop. With the aid of a sulfur-specific detector, the resulting system was sufficiently sensitive to detect the sulfur volatiles, H2S and dimethyl sulfide, at the concentrations found in pasteurized skim milk. Milk that was heated to varying degrees was analyzed, and the analytical results were compared with the intensity of heated flavor as determined by a sensory panel. For skim milk, correlations were moderately strong: Spearman's correlation coefficients for H2S and dimethyl sulfide were .75 and .60, respectively. Correlations were weak for whole milk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2098-2104
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received May 20, 1991. Accepted January 27, 1992. ‘Research sponsored, in part, by the Minnesota-South Dakota Dairy Foods Research Center. Scientific Journal Series Number 18,804, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul.


  • DMS
  • FPD
  • GC
  • HSS
  • MeSH
  • automatic headspace sampler
  • dimethyl sulfide
  • flame photometric detector
  • gas chromatograph
  • gas chromatography
  • heated milk flavor
  • methanethiol
  • static headspace


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