Study on volatile components of three Curcuma species by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Nungruthai Suphrom, Surat Boonphong, Phitchaporn Sutamuang, Kamonluk Insumrong, Wannakul Meesuanthong, Phongsan Itsarangkool


The rhizome of two Curcuma species (khamin lueang and khamin thong) have been widely used as ingredients in both folk medicines and foods instead of Curcuma longa in some areas of northern part of Thailand. In this study, the comparison of the volatile compounds in C. longa and two Curcuma spp. ethanolic extracts were conducted using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results indicated that the main components were bisabolane-type sesquiterpene in both of ketone (i.e. ar-tumerone, α-tumerone and β-tumerone) and hydrocarbon skeletons (zingiberene, β-sesquiphellandrene, and ar-curcumene). Some unique compounds which might be used as markers for the discrimination of these Curcuma species were found. The structural relationship of main detected compounds were also proposed. It should be noted that farnesyl cation played pivotal role for the formation of compounds found in these plants. The cyclization and allylic oxidation of some compounds lead to the numerous of their analogs. This finding revealed that fingerprint analysis based on GC-MS could provide scientific data, which might be a useful supporting for further utilization as useful plant resources.

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