Isolation, identification, and quantification of lichenysin, a novel nonvolatile compound in Chinese distilled spirits

J Food Sci. 2014 Oct;79(10):C1907-15. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12650. Epub 2014 Sep 23.


Nonvolatile components influence overall flavor volatility and perception in alcoholic beverages. However, little information has been reported about the nonvolatile compounds in Chinese distilled spirits. For the first time, we isolated and identified a cyclic lipopeptide "lichenysin" as a novel nonvolatile compound in Chinese liquors, using preparative high performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometer and nuclear magnetic resonance. The concentrations of lichenysin were quantified in 14 main types of bottled Chinese liquors by using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The concentrations of lichenysin in Chinese liquor ranged from 0.01 to 111.74 μg/L, where the concentration was the highest in Dongjiu liquor. Furthermore, we found that lichenysin selectively affected aroma volatility in the Chinese liquor, using the headspace solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The headspace concentrations of 2-phenylethanol, phenol, and 4-methylphenol significantly decreased by respectively 58%, 76%, and 59% in 3 Chinese commercial liquors with an increase in lichenysin. These results indicated that lichenysin could be a novel nonvolatile compound that selectively affected aroma volatility in Chinese liquors.

Practical application: This was the first report that lichenysin was isolated, identified, and quantified as a nonvolatile compound in traditional Chinese liquors. Lichenysin selectively affected the volatility of the aroma compounds in Chinese liquors. So far, there is no report on lichenysin in other alcoholic beverages. It would give a new insight into flavoromics in food and help to improve aroma quality of Chinese liquors.

Keywords: Chinese liquor; HS-SPME-GC-MS; NMR; UPLC-MS/MS; aroma volatility; lichenysin; nonvolatile compound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / analysis*
  • Cresols
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Lipoproteins / analysis
  • Lipoproteins / isolation & purification*
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Peptides, Cyclic / analysis
  • Peptides, Cyclic / isolation & purification*
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / analysis
  • Solid Phase Microextraction
  • Taste
  • Volatilization


  • Cresols
  • Lipoproteins
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Phenols
  • lichenysin A
  • 4-cresol
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol