Whether it’s a warm day at the beach or just a weekend afternoon spent at home,
an alcoholic or hard seltzer is usually close by. The explosion of the hard seltzer
segment has caught the attention of many companies eager to get in on the
success. Early in 2018, only 10 hard seltzer brands were on the market. This
increased to 26 brands by the beginning of 2019, and now more than 65 brands
are fighting for consumers’ attention and purchase.
But what sets the industry leading seltzers apart? In this study, two seltzer brands
were analyzed via GC-MS. The headspace was sampled via SPME Arrow to
extract the major fragrance and aroma inducing compounds. The analytes
identified ranged from the major mono and sesquiterpenes to the additional
ketones and ethyl esters. By characterizing the headspace of several flavors
including: cherry, lime, berry and grapefruit, a side by side comparison was
created showing the individuality between the two brands.
Regardless of the flavor variety, compounds such as beta-myrcene, geraniol, Dlimonene,
linalool, isoamyl acetate and ethyl butyrate were identified at varying
concentrations. The use of SPME Arrow in addition to GCMS proves to be a
useful advantage not only in the quality control of these beverages, but the R&D
for new flavors or even the knowledge of competing flavor profiles.