When it comes to determining the level of volatile species in solid, liquid or gas samples, one of the more popular techniques is Static Headspace analysis.
Our recent Application Note: "Achieving Low-Level Detection of Benzene in Beverages with an Automated Headspace Vial Sampler" and accompanying webinar “Benzene in Beverages - How Low Can We Go” brought many thoughts to mind (to view Benzene Analysis resources and the webinar, please click the button at the bottom of this blog). Foremost was that I knew next to nothing about Benzene, how it could end up in my soft drink, and what potential health effects it might have. I remembered vaguely hearing about it in my childhood. My general conception was that there was nothing good about it. Being myself a wary food consumer (you’ll find me reading the back panels of food boxes in the grocery store), this was a subject for my inner food skeptic. What I discovered was not nearly as straight forward as I had presumed.
The battle of the headspace Titans continues in the Teledyne Tekmar applications lab. This time, the sample arena has moved to environmental compounds in beverages. Beverages formulated with sodium or potassium benzoate and ascorbic acid may form benzene at part per billion levels (ppb). The lowest current regulation found in the international water regulations for benzene is 1 ppb.
Excitement abounds in the Teledyne Tekmar labs as the Versa headspace autosampler continues to meet the challenges of an ever-changing environmental science world. Its big brother, the HT3, started this excitement when it successfully met the challenge to detect low levels of 1,4-dioxane, bromoform, acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride in water following new environmental guidance from Korea and the Asian market.