Abstract: In order to better understand flavor contribution of pit mud for Strong-flavor Baijiu fermentation, spatial distribution of volatile compounds in Strong-flavor Baijiu pit mud (PM) were investigated using head space solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in this study. The classification of PM samples and its related volatile compounds were further studied employing the partial least square discriminate analysis (PLS-DA). The results showed that acids and esters were the main compounds in PM. The total concentration of volatile compounds in PM increased with the depth of the fermentation pit, and the total concentration increased by 3-folds from top layer (0 cm from top) to the bottom layer (240 cm from top), while there was no obvious trend of spatial distribution detected in alcohols. High concentration of volatile compounds including hexanoic acid, butanoic acid, heptanoic acid, octanoic acid, ethyl hexanoate, and hexyl hexanoate were found in PM, and their concentrations increased with the depth of fermentation pit increased. The results of PLS-DA showed that using key volatile compounds content differentiation as model can clearly classify PM. The results of this study may provide useful information for understanding the contribution of PM during Strong-flavor Baijiu fermentation.
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