FlavourSpec™ VDK

FlavourSpec™ VDK

Diacetyl and pentandione (VDK) are by-products of the beer brewing process whose concentration needs to be controlled during brewingMoleculesAndInstrument

Traditionally, GC-ECD has been the analytical technique of choice for this monitoring, as it affords the sensitivity needed in these measurements. IMSPEX’s diagnostics FlavourSpec® is an instrument based on GC-IMS (Gas Chromatography – Ion Mobility Spectrometry) which affords the sensitivity and reproducibility needed by this analysis, whilst presenting a series of significant advantages which make it ideal for the beer brewing industry

FlavourSpec® is able to measure diacetyl and pentandione (VDK) in full automation.

  • Sample preparation is handled by the CTC sample changer and oven integrated into the FlavourSpec®
  • Diacethyl and pentandione levels are automatically calculated without user intervention, so that a non expert user can run the analysis
  • The instrument is rugged and can be placed anywhere in the brewery, as all it needs to run is electricity and an air cylinder (no vacuum pump, no helium)
  • Reduce your analytical instrument purchase cost and cost of ownership, increase your analysis speed and simplify your analysis

FlavourSpec shows many benefits when compared to alternative analytical instruments:

  • Ionization source below EUROATOM radiation level so no bureaucracy or permits
  • No helium (carrier gas in Nitrogen) means it is cheaper to run and no scarcity issues
  • Runs at atmospheric pressure therefore does not need a vacuum pump
  • Avoids costly breakdowns which can disrupt analytical function
  • No noise
  • More energy efficient
  • Faster analysis – 20 minutes run time means increased ROI (more analyses per time unit)
  • Sample preparation is fully automated so no skills needed from operator
  • Analysis is fully automated so no skills needed from the operator
  • Able to measure hops and flavouring agents in positive mode – QC/QA of ingredients from the same instrument

SABMiller plc, one of the World largest breweries, commented on our instrumentation

We find the FlavourSpec to be very well suited to the needs of the research brewery for both basic beer analysis and advanced testing of beer. This is valuable in optimising processes and ensuring that we maintain our high standards of beer quality throughout – Trevor Cowley, Project Brewer

One of the major brewery groups in Germany just emailed us saying:

The old GC-MS is now switched off and we measure VDKs only with FlavourSpec…

And FlavourSpec® can be used to measure many other compounds in brewing. Take a look at this ArticleNahrChemie2013 published in 2013 about measurement of other flavour-influencing compounds in beer.

Watch this video to get an idea of how simple to use the instrument is, and how to get from beer to report in a few, automated steps!

What next?

Would you like to find out more about FlavourSpec®, get pricing information or organize a site or web presentation? Fill in the form below:

I would like to know more about FlavourSpec for VDK determination



The FlavourSpec VDK has been specially optimized to to quantify levels of Diacetyl and pentandione (VDK) in the beer brewing process.

If you have any questions about an application of yours or about the information above please contact us.



Working Principle Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)
Ionisation ß-radiation source (Tritium (3H))
Activity 300MBq, below the exemption limit of 1GBq, EURATOM guideline
Drift Voltage Polarity Positive and negative, switchable
Sampling Automatic GC headspace injector
Detection Limit Low ppbv
Dynamic Range 1-3 orders of magnitude
Display 6.4″ TFT, VGA display
Input Unit Rotary pulse encoder
Processor 400 MHz X-scale
Data Acquisition Ultra-fast-ADIO-board
Data Processing X-board / Baseboard
Data Storage 2-GB Compact-Flash
Communication RS232, USB, Ethernet
Electrical Connectors 2 x D-Sub 9-pole (for modem,
console), D-Sub 15-pole (for external devices), RJ45 (for
digital modem or SSH), 2 x USB-A
Power Supply 100-240 V AC, 50-60 Hz (external supply),
24 V DC / 5A, XLR-connector (internal)
Power Consumption < 180 Watt
Dimensions 449 x 375 x 177 mm (WxDxH)
Weight 15.5 kg
Housing 19″ compatible, IP 20 enclosure, EMC certificated
Gas Connectors 3 mm stainless steel Swagelok connectors
for gas in- and outlet



  • Are you interested in the price of the FlavourSpec VDK?
  • Would you like to organize for a demonstration or a feasibility study?
  • Do you have some samples you would like us to run?

Leave us your details and we will contact you with the information that you need: