Classification and Identification of Three Vintage Designated Hungarian Spirits by Their Volatile Compounds
The quality of fruit based spirits varies year to year; therefore, the identification of the vintage of a distilled alcoholic beverage is necessary, but requires highly sensitive analytics. The interpretation of the gathered data requires a well-adapted chemometric method. In this study, Hungarian apple, sour cherry and plum distillates (pálinka’s) from different vintages were analyzed, classified and identified using volatile composition analyzed by GC-MS. The fruit’s origin, fermentation technique and distillation were the same at all the fruits; the only differences in the samples were their vintages (2010, 2011 and 2012). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was applied for classification and components’ identification related to the vintage effect. The samples were successfully classified (correct classification rate ranging from 75 to 100%), three components are found to be related to the vintage effect regardless the fruit type: propanol, butanol and ethyl-propionate. GC-MS data proved to be a promising tool for classification of fruit distillate vintages.