(R)—(+)-Limonene was photooxidized in the presence of Rose Bengal as catalyst. After TLC isolation, the hydroperoxides formed were separated directly by HRGC and analyzed by MS (El; Cl). Each hydroperoxide isomer was then isolated by HPLC for structure determination which after reduction of the HOO group with sodium borohydride was performed by 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR.
Six hydroperoxide isomers formed by oxidation of the endocyclic double bond were identified. The compounds eluted from the HRGC column in the following order (proportions are given in brackets) I (40.1%) (1S, 4R)-p-mentha-2, 8-diene 1-hydroperoxide; II (5.8%) (1R, 4R)-p-mentha-2, 8-diene 1-hydroperoxide; III (20.6%) (2R, 4R)-p-mentha-[1(7), 8]-diene 2-hydroperoxide; IV (8.5%) (2R, 4R)-p-mentha-6, 8-diene 2-hydroperoxide; V (4%) (2S, 4R)-p-mentha-6, 8-diene 2-hydroperoxide; and VI (21.0%) (2S, 4R)-p-mentha-[1(7), 8]-diene 2-hydroperoxide. Direct HRGC separation of the limonene hydroperoxides offers, inter alia, the possibility of determining their flavor qualities by HRGC/effluent sniffing.