A method to identify brown coloured beverages or beverage stains for criminological purposes was devised using aroma components as indicators. The examined beverages comprised three brands each of beer, coffee, cola and black tea, two brands of oolong tea, and four brands of green tea. Aroma components in each sample were efficiently concentrated with a porous polymer beads column (Porapak Q) and were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using n-octyl alcohol as the internal standard. Specific aroma components were found in each beverage and beverage stain, for example cis-terpin hydrate in cola, and thus identification of beverages or beverage stains became feasible through the detection of these specific components. The present method was applied efficiently to two practical criminological cases.
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