Confirmation of 1-Phenylethane-1-thiol as the Character Impact Aroma Compound in Curry Leaves and Its Behavior during Tissue Disruption, Drying, and Frying

J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Mar 15;65(10):2141-2146. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00197. Epub 2017 Mar 1.


The most odor-active compounds previously identified by application of an aroma extract dilution analysis were quantitated in freshly picked curry leaves, either by stable isotope dilution assays in combination with GC-GC-MS or by GC-FID after simultaneous extraction/fractionation. Odor activity values (OAVs) were calculated as ratios of concentrations to odor threshold values. The topmost OAVs were obtained for (3Z)-hex-3-enal (grassy; OAV 180 000), (1S)-1-phenylethane-1-thiol (sulfury, burnt; OAV 150 000), (1R)-1-phenylethane-1-thiol (sulfury, burnt; OAV 120 000), (3R)-linalool (citrusy; OAV 58 000), and myrcene (geranium leaf-like; OAV 23 000). The high OAVs calculated for its enantiomers confirmed 1-phenylethane-1-thiol as character impact compound of the typical sulfury and burnt aroma of curry leaves. The 1-phenylethane-1-thiol concentration in curry leaves decreased upon tissue disruption and drying, as well as upon frying of fresh leaves. By contrast, frying of dried leaves led to an increase of 1-phenylethane-1-thiol, indicating a yet unknown thermolabile precursor.

Keywords: 1-phenylethane-1-thiol; Bergera koenigii; Murraya koenigii; curry leaf; curry tree; simultaneous extraction/fractionation.

MeSH terms

  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Murraya / chemistry*
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Spices / analysis*
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry*


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • 1-phenylethanethiol