Statistical analysis has been used forthe first time to evaluate the dispersion of quantitative data in the solid-phase Microextraction(SPME)followed by gaschromatography–mass spectrometry(GC–MS) analysis of blackberry(Rubus ulmifolius Schott) volatile swith the aim of improving their precision. Experimental and randomly simulated data were compared using different statistical parameters (correlation coefficients, Principal Component Analysis loadings and eigenvalues). Non-randomfactors were shown to significantly contribute to total dispersion; groups of volatile compounds could be associated with these Factors. A significant improvement of precision was achieved when considering percent concentration ratios, rather than percent values, among those blackberry volatiles with a similar dispersion behavior. As novelty over previous references, and to complement this main objective, the presence of non-random dispersion trends in data from simple blackberry model systems was evidenced. Although the influence of the type of matrix on data precision was proved, the possibility of a better understanding of the dispersion patterns in real samples was not possible from model systems. The approach here used was validated for the first time through the multicomponent characterization of Italian blackberries from different harvest years.
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