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Enantioselective analysis of methyl-branched alcohols and acids in rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.) stalks.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (2003-11-13)
Márta Dregus, Hans-Georg Schmarr, Eisuke Takahisa, Karl-Heinz Engel
ABSTRACT

The enantiomeric compositions of 2-methylbutanol (1), 4-methylhexanol (2), 2-methylbutanoic acid (3), and 4-methylhexanoic acid (4) present in rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.) stalks were determined. Enantiodifferentiation was achieved via multidimensional gas chromatography using heptakis(2,3,6-tri-O-ethyl)-beta-cyclodextrin as a chiral stationary phase. For all compounds the enantiomeric ratios were in favor of the (R)-enantiomers. The alcohols (1 and 2) exhibited generally high excesses of the (R)-enantiomers, the ratios varying slightly from batch to batch. For the acid (3) a rather narrow range averaging 65% (R):35% (S) was observed. The procedure applied to isolate the volatiles (vacuum headspace technique, simultaneous distillation--extraction, liquid--liquid extraction) had no significant impact on the enantiomeric ratios. The study describes for the first time a plant used as food material in which 2-methyl-branched volatiles are not nearly exclusively present as (S)-enantiomers. This information enlarges the current regulatory knowledge regarding the classification of these important flavor compounds as "natural" on the basis of their enantiomeric ratios.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
4-Methylhexanoic acid, 97%

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