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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 6437857, 14 pages
Research Article

Optimization of the Extraction of the Volatile Fraction from Honey Samples by SPME-GC-MS, Experimental Design, and Multivariate Target Functions

1Department of Sciences and Technological Innovation, University of Piemonte Orientale, Viale Michel 11, 15121 Alessandria, Italy
2Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna, Via Bianchi 9, 25124 Brescia, Italy
3Department of Pharmacy, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Elisa Robotti; ti.opuinu@ittobor.asile

Received 5 September 2016; Revised 17 December 2016; Accepted 4 January 2017; Published 9 February 2017

Academic Editor: Shayessteh Dadfarnia

Copyright © 2017 Elisa Robotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Head space (HS) solid phase microextraction (SPME) followed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection (GC-MS) is the most widespread technique to study the volatile profile of honey samples. In this paper, the experimental SPME conditions were optimized by a multivariate strategy. Both sensitivity and repeatability were optimized by experimental design techniques considering three factors: extraction temperature (from 50°C to 70°C), time of exposition of the fiber (from 20 min to 60 min), and amount of salt added (from 0 to 27.50%). Each experiment was evaluated by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) that allows to take into consideration all the analytes at the same time, preserving the information about their different characteristics. Optimal extraction conditions were identified independently for signal intensity (extraction temperature: 70°C; extraction time: 60 min; salt percentage: 27.50% w/w) and repeatability (extraction temperature: 50°C; extraction time: 60 min; salt percentage: 27.50% w/w) and a final global compromise (extraction temperature: 70°C; extraction time: 60 min; salt percentage: 27.50% w/w) was also reached. Considerations about the choice of the best internal standards were also drawn. The whole optimized procedure was than applied to the analysis of a multiflower honey sample and more than 100 compounds were identified.