In the present study, the characterization and comparison of the pungent components in commercial Z. bungeanum oils and Z. schinifolium oils were investigated. By high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis, the major alkylamides in Z. bungeanum and Z. schinifolium oils were identified as hydroxy-ε-sanshool, hydroxy-α-sanshool, hydroxy-β-sanshool, hydroxy-γ-sanshool, hydroxy-γ-isosanshool, bungeanool, isobungeanool, and tetrahydrobungeanool, respectively. Hydroxy-α-sanshool was found to be the most abundant alkylamide in all oils. The levels of hydroxy-ε-sanshool and hydroxy-β-sanshool in Z. bungeanum oils were comparable to that in Z. schinifolium oils, whereas Z. bungeanum oils contained significantly (P less than 0.05) higher levels of hydroxy-γ-isosanshool, bungeanool, isobungeanool, and tetrahydrobungeanool, compared with Z. schinifolium oils. Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that Z. bungeanum oil and Z. schinifolium oil were clearly classified by HPLC fingerprinting profiles and concentrations of alkylamides. In addition, the results of PCA suggested that alkylamides, such as hydroxy-γ-sanshool and bungeanool, could be potential markers to distinguish Z. bungeanum oil and Z. schinifolium oil. The results from this study could be used to discriminate the different flavor characterization and control the quality of commercial Z. bungeanum oil and Z. schinifolium oil.
The present study provides a theoretical basis and a useful method to distinguish the different flavor characterization and control the quality of commercial Z. bungeanum oil and Z. schinifolium oil.