One of the main causes for the sparse use of multivariate analytical methods in routine laboratory work is the dependency on the measuring instrument from which the analytical signal is acquired. This issue is especially critical in chromatographic equipment and results in limitations of their applicability. The solution to this problem is to obtain a standardized instrument-independent signal -or instrument-agnostic signal- regardless of the measuring instrument or of the state of the same instrument from which it has been acquired. The combined use of both internal and external standard series, allows us to have external and transferable references for the normalization of both the intensity and the position of each element of the data vector being arranged from the raw signal. From this information, a simple mathematical data treatment process is applied and instrument-agnostic signals can be secured. This paper describes and applies the proposed methodology to be followed for obtaining standardized instrumental fingerprints from two significant fractions of virgin olive oil (volatile organic compounds and triacylglycerols), obtained by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and analysed with two temperature conditions (conventional and high-temperature, respectively). The results of both case studies show how the instrument-agnostic fingerprints obtained are coincidental, regardless of the state of the chromatographic system or the time of acquisition.
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