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Keywords:

  • Honey;
  • Salvia officinalies;
  • Ultrasound extraction (USE);
  • Gas chromatography;
  • Mass spectrometry

Abstract

Volatile compounds of unifloral Salvia officinalis L. honey has been investigated for the first time. The botanical origin of ten unifloral Salvia honey samples has been ascertained by pollen analysis (the honey samples displayed 23–60% of Salvia pollen). Fifty-four volatile compounds were identified by GC and GC/MS in ten Salvia honey extracts obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction (USE) with pentane/Et2O 1 : 2. The yield of isolated volatiles varied from 25.7 to 30.5 mg kg−1. Salvia honey could be distinguished on the basis of the high percentage of benzoic acid (6.4–14.8%), and especially phenylacetic acid (5.7–18.4%). Minor, but floral-origin important volatiles were identified such as shikimate pathway derivatives, ‘degraded-carotenoid-like’ structures (3,5,5-trimethylcyclohex-2-ene derivatives) and 2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-2-ene derivatives. Compounds from other metabolic pathways such as aliphatic acids and higher linear hydrocarbons, as well as heterocycles (pyrans, furans, and pyrroles), were also present. Most of the identified compounds do not constitute specific Salvia honey markers, due to their presence in honeys of other botanical origins; however, their ratio in different honeys could be useful to distinguish floral origin. Salvia-honey volatile markers were: benzoic acid, phenylacetic acid, p-anisaldehyde, α-isophorone, 4-ketoisophorone, dehydrovomifoliol, 2,6,6-trimethyl-4-oxocyclohex-2-ene-1-carbaldehyde, 2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexane-1,4-dione, and coumaran.