Characterization of the Major Odor-Active Compounds in the Leaves of the Curry Tree Bergera koenigii L. by Aroma Extract Dilution Analysis

J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Apr 29;63(16):4060-7. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b01174. Epub 2015 Apr 21.


Curry leaves are a popular seasoning herb with a pronounced sulfury and burnt odor, the molecular background of which was yet unclear. Application of an aroma extract dilution analysis to the volatile fraction of curry leaves isolated by solvent extraction and solvent-assisted flavor evaporation afforded 23 odor-active compounds with flavor dilution (FD) factors ranging from 1 to 8192. On the basis of the comparison of their retention indices, mass spectra, and odor properties with data of reference compounds, the structures of 22 odorants could be assigned, 15 of which had not been reported in curry leaves before. Odorants with high FD factors included 1-phenylethanethiol (FD factor 8192), linalool (4096), α-pinene (2048), 1,8-cineole (1024), (3Z)-hex-3-enal (256), 3-(methylsulfanyl)propanal (128), myrcene (64), (3Z)-hex-3-en-1-ol (32), and (2E,6Z)-nona-2,6-dienal (32). The unique sulfury and burnt odor exhibited by 1-phenylethanethiol in combination with its high FD factor suggested that it constitutes the character impact compound of fresh curry leaf aroma.

Keywords: 1-phenylethanethiol; Bergera koenigii; Murraya koenigii; curry leaves; curry tree.

MeSH terms

  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Indicator Dilution Techniques
  • Murraya / chemistry*
  • Odorants / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Trees / chemistry
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Volatile Organic Compounds