European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 223, Issue 1, pp 96–101 | Cite as

Analysis of saffron volatile fraction by TD–GC–MS and e-nose

  • Manuel Carmona
  • Javier Martínez
  • Amaya Zalacain
  • Ma Luz Rodríguez-Méndez
  • José Antonio de Saja
  • Gonzalo Luis Alonso
Original Paper


Saffron spice is valuable for its colour, taste and aroma. All these properties depend on the different postharvesting treatments that Crocus sativus L. stigmas received to convert it into a spice. No previous scientific data relate the volatile content with its postharvesting process or origin. In this paper, two different analytical methods are used, CG-MS to determine volatile markers and an electronic nose based on metal oxides to determine the volatile profile of the samples from different geographic origins. It is demonstrated by means of CG-MS that 3,5,5-trimethyl-2-cyclohexenone, 2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexane-1,4-dione and acetic acid are capable to differentiate saffron from its origin. The content of acetic acid is very high in samples from Iran or Morocco, while low or undetectable content was observed in Greek and Spanish samples. In turn, using an e-nose (specifically optimised for this particular application), samples from different countries could be discriminated using Principal Component Analysis with a 90% of confidence.


E-Nose Saffron TD–GC–MS Volatiles 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Carmona
    • 1
  • Javier Martínez
    • 2
  • Amaya Zalacain
    • 1
  • Ma Luz Rodríguez-Méndez
    • 3
  • José Antonio de Saja
    • 2
  • Gonzalo Luis Alonso
    • 1
  1. 1.Cátedra de Química Agrícola, E.T.S. Ingenieros AgrónomosUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. Física de la Materia Condensada, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ValladolidValladolidSpain
  3. 3.Dpto. Química Inorgánica, E.T.S. Ingenieros IndustrialesUniversidad de ValladolidValladolidSpain

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