Rapid Aroma Profiling to Analyze MIB and GSM in Pond Water

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Fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is rich in vital nutrients, such as vitamin D and protein. According to the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately one billion people worldwide depend on fish as their main source of animal protein and hence, aquaculture is regarded as a major industry. Aquaculture can be defined as the high-density production of plants and fish in a controlled environment. While there is a great diversity among culture systems, pond culture happens to be the most commonly used system.

Yet, it has been reported that nuisance odor, particularly musty odor in the water sources employed for various purposes, such as fisheries, food industry, water supply and agriculture, is a global problem. Therefore, maintaining good water quality is key to the survival and optimum growth of culture organisms.

Electronic Noses

In aquaculture activities, the issue facing the production was the buildup of off-flavor in fish flesh promoted by the presence of organic compounds in soil and water. Geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) associated with cyanobacteria are the most troublesome odors and are also hard to remove from the pond water. Geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) are algae with musty/muddy odors which not only contaminate water supplies but can also be absorbed by aquatic organisms. Even humans are liable to contract them from aquatic food products and water.

In order to detect and analyze such types of compounds, electronic noses have triggered a good amount of interest among the developers of artificial intelligence and neural network for some time. However, physical sensors are known to have restricted performance because of physical instability and overlapping responses. eNoses do not have the ability to quantify or separate the chemistry of aromas.


zNose is a new type of electronic nose based on ultra-fast gas chromatography. It simulates an almost endless number of certain virtual chemical sensors, and creates olfactory images based upon the chemistry of aromas.

When quantifying and detecting Geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) in pond water with zNose, only a field portable method is used instead of applying different kinds of methods. This is because the samples used are very small and therefore only picogram quantities of geosmin and MIB can be obtained. Since larger quantities of water are used, the effects of contaminants are dramatically reduced. The test is also carried out outdoors which helps prevent the relatively high levels of ambient air contaminants.

Therefore, this rapid aroma profiling instrument makes it faster and easier to detect and quantify bacterias like Geosmin and MIB in pond water since they are the most troublesome odors contaminating the water supplies.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Electronic Sensor Technology.

For more information on this source, please visit Electronic Sensor Technology.

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