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Purpose: To determine the characteristic aromatic constituents of star anise (Illicium verum Hook. f.) and identify its main aroma compounds for sensory evaluation.
Methods: The volatile compounds of star anise were prepared by simultaneous distillation-extraction (SDE) and the compounds were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The flavor compounds were confirmed by gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O). Their flavor dilution factor (FD) values were determined using aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA). Finally, standard samples that meet the requirements for sensory evaluation were extracted by the solid-phase microextraction (SPME) to further validate characteristic aroma molecules.
Results: Forty seven compounds were confirmed, with trans-anethole, estragole, and anisaldehyde the main aroma components. The content of trans-anethole was the highest (75.76 %), followed by linalool (1.44 %). Limonene (1.01 %) and 4’- ethoxypropiophenone (0.72 %) were the lowest.
Conclusion: Combining SDE coupled with AEDA and SPME coupled with GC-MS is beneficial for identifying characteristic aroma compounds for star anise, such as trans-anethole, linalool and limonene in terms of FD value. The findings may be useful for star anise quality control in the food industry.
Keywords: Aroma, Flavor dilution factor (FD value), Gas chromatography-olfactometry, Simultaneous distillation-extraction, Sensory evaluation, Star anise, Illicium verum, Trans-anethole, Linaloo, Limonene