We applied a thermal-desorption gas-chromatograph mass-spectrometer (TD-GC–MS) system to identify the marker volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the aroma of red wine. After obtaining the marker VOC, we utilized surface acoustic waves (SAWs) to develop a highly sensitive sensing system as ‘electronic nose’ to detect these marker VOC. The SAW chips were fabricated on a LiNbO3
substrate with a lithographic process. We coated sensing polymers on the sensing area to adsorb the marker VOC in a sample gas. The adsorption of the marker VOC altered the velocity of the SAW according to a mass-loading effect, causing a frequency decrease. This experiment was conducted with wines of three grape varieties—cabernet sauvignon, merlot and black queen. According to the results of TD-GC–MS, the King brand of red wine is likely to have unique VOC, which are 2-pentanone, dimethyl disulfide, 2-methylpropyl acetate and 2-pentanol; Blue Nun-1 probably has a special VOC such as 2,3-butanedione. We hence used a SAW sensor array to detect the aroma of red wines and to distinguish their components by their frequency shift. The results show that the use of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) as a detecting material can distinguish Blue Nun-2 from the others and the use of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) can distinguish King from the others. We conducted random tests to prove the accuracy and the reliability of our SAW sensors.
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