Identification and HPLC quantitation of the sulfides and dialk(en)yl thiosulfinates in commercial garlic products

Planta Med. 1991 Aug;57(4):363-70. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-960119.


The content of dialk(en)yl thiosulfinates, including allicin, and their degradation products has been determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), using the respective determined extinction coefficients, for a number of commercially available garlic products. Quantitation has been achieved for the thiosulfinates; diallyl, methyl allyl, and diethyl mono-, di-, tri-, tetra-, penta-, and hexasulfides; the vinyldithiins; and (E)- and (Z)-ajoene. The thiosulfinates were found to be released only from garlic cloves and garlic powder products. The vinyldithiins and ajoenes were found only in products containing garlic macerated in vegetable oil. The diallyl, methyl allyl, and dimethyl sulfide series were the exclusive constituents found in products containing the oil of steam-distilled garlic. Typical steam-distilled garlic oil products contained about the same amount of total sulfur compounds as total thiosulfinates released from freshly homogenized garlic cloves; however, oil-macerated products contained only 20% of that amount, while garlic powder products varied from 0 to 100%. Products containing garlic powder suspended in a a gel or garlic aged in aqueous alcohol did not contain detectable amounts of these non-ionic sulfur compounds. A comparison of several brands of each type of garlic product revealed a large range in content (4-fold for oil-macerates and 33-fold for steam-distilled garlic oils), indicating the importance of analysis before garlic products are used for clinical investigations or commercial distribution.

MeSH terms

  • Alkenes / analysis*
  • Allyl Compounds*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Garlic*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Sulfides / analysis*
  • Sulfinic Acids / analysis*


  • Alkenes
  • Allyl Compounds
  • Sulfides
  • Sulfinic Acids
  • allyl sulfide