Volatile Fatty Acid Analysis

Volatile Fatty Acid Analysis

Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are the main form of energy metabolism in ruminants. CD BioGlyco has many successful cases and analytical experience in the field of Fatty Acid Analysis. The analysis methods of VFAs we provide include but are not limited to distillation method, titration method, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), and near-infrared spectrum (NIR).

Functions of VFAs

VFAs are organic acids with 1~6 carbon atoms, including acetic acid, propionic acid, isobutyric acid, valeric acid, and n-butyric acid. These low molecular weight carboxylic acids or short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are important intermediates and metabolites in the biological processes of sewage, sludge, and municipal waste.

Functions of VFAs: 1) It is an important intermediate in the anaerobic digestion process, and its accumulation in the anaerobic reactor reflects the inactive state of methane bacteria or the deterioration of anaerobic fermentation conditions; 2) Energy supply is the most basic role of VFAs in ruminants. The glucose needed for metabolism in the body is mainly derived from gluconeogenesis in the liver tissue in the body, and propionic acid is the main precursor of gluconeogenesis; 3) It is an important factor in inhibiting pathogenic microorganisms of the intestine. Increased VFA concentration inhibits the growth of Salmonella.

Anaerobic digestion steps and pathways.Fig.1 Anaerobic digestion steps and pathways. (Ramos-Suarez, 2021)


VFA is an important intermediate and metabolite in the biological process of municipal sewage, sludge, and garbage. To better monitor the urban environment, our scientists have developed a variety of analytical methods for the study of VFAs. CD BioGlyco uses several methods to analyze VFAs:

  • Distillation method

    Mainly suitable for routine determination of VFAs in wastewater and routine control of sludge digestion.

  • Titration method

    After acidifying the wastewater with phosphoric acid, VFAs are evaporated from it, and the distillate is titrated with NaOH solution using phenolphthalein as an indicator.

  • HPLC

    Reliable, fast, and economical analysis technique. The original samples are centrifuged and filtered, and the prepared samples are analyzed by HPLC.

  • GC

    Saponify the tissue sample, separate the VFAs by distillation extraction device and conduct GC analysis after concentration.

  • NIRS

    To better monitor and analyze the anaerobic fermentation in agricultural and animal husbandry wastes, NIRS and partial least squares are combined to construct a rapid detection of acetic acid, propionic acid, and total acid content in the anaerobic fermentation broth.

Advantages of Us

  • A variety of analysis techniques
  • Efficient and economical
  • Many successful analysis cases
  • One-stop analysis service


  • Sewage, sludge, and municipal waste detection
  • Animal fat tissue analysis
  • Medical research
  • Food quality analysis

CD BioGlyco provides a variety of VFA analysis methods to meet every need of customers in multiple fields. Meanwhile, we provide customized services based on customer requirements. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Ramos-Suarez, M.; et al. Current perspectives on acidogenic fermentation to produce volatile fatty acids from waste. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology. 2021, 20(2): 439-478.
  2. Chatterjee, B.; et al. New approach for determination of volatile fatty acid in anaerobic digester sample. Environmental Engineering Science. 2018, 35(4): 333-351.
This service is for Research Use Only, not intended for any clinical use.

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