Gas chromatographic determination of S-alk(en)ylcysteine sulfoxides

J Chromatogr A. 1999 Nov 5;862(1):85-94. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9673(99)00902-4.


A new GC method for determination of S-alk(en)ylcysteine sulfoxides, important secondary metabolites occurring in many plant genera, has been developed. The method is based on isolation of the amino acid fraction by ion-exchange chromatography followed by derivatization with ethyl chloroformate at ambient temperature and reduction of derivatized S-alk(en)ylcysteine sulfoxides by sodium iodide. The main advantages of the new method are its high sensitivity, excellent resolution capability, accuracy and reliability, as well as the possibility to identify unknown compounds by means of GC-MS. The content of alliin and other S-alk(en)ylcysteine sulfoxides was determined in nine different samples of garlic (Allium sativum L.) originating from the Czech Republic, France, and China. The total content of S-alk(en)ylcysteine sulfoxide pool ranged between 0.53 and 1.3% fresh weight, with S-allylcysteine sulfoxide (alliin) being predominant. A novel S-alkylcysteine derivative, S-ethylcysteine sulfoxide (ethiin), not previously reported to occur in Allium species, was found in some of the samples examined.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Gas / methods*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cysteine / analysis
  • Garlic / chemistry
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Reducing Agents
  • Sulfoxides / analysis*


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Reducing Agents
  • Sulfoxides
  • alliin
  • Cysteine