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Volatile Flavor Constituents of Chamomile from Eight Different Areas of Greece

Chamomile is a well-known medicinal plant species belonging to the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. Nowadays, chamomile is a highly favored and much-used medicinal plant in folk and traditional medicine throughout the world and can therefore be considered as an important medicinal species. It is an annual herb, growing up to 20–60 cm tall with branching stems. It has a typical compositae flower, with white rays and yellow conical center that is hollow. Although there are numerous varieties of chamomile, the two most popular are Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German or wild chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L. or Chamomilla recutita). Matricaria chamomilla is the only variety of this family that thrives in Greece.

The objective of this study was to identify the volatile constituents of chamomile (dried chamomile flower heads and chamomile infusions) from eight areas of Greece (Rodopi, Corfu, Ioannina, Karditsa, Evritania, Fthiotida, Chania and Rhodes). Chamomile samples were collected in two different time periods (during May of 2009 and 2010). The identification of volatile components was performed using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled to gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS). For the HS-SPME sampling two SPME fibers, coated with divinylbenzene/carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS 50/30 μm) and carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS 75 μm) were used. Each analysis was carried out in triplicate. Individual volatile compounds were identified by comparison of their retention indices (RIs) with those found in the literature and by comparison of the mass spectra of each compound with the Wiley mass spectral library as well as with the NIST mass spectral library. Sixty-nine compounds were totally identified in the dried chamomile flower heads, whereas fewer (twenty-six) compounds were identified in chamomile infusions. Between the two SPME fibers evaluated, the DVB/CAR/PDMS 50/30 μm fiber was shown to be the best choice for all the samples.

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13 Mar 2013
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