Chemical composition of fennel seed extract and determination of fenchone in commercial formulations by GC-MS method

J Food Sci Technol. 2019 May;56(5):2395-2403. doi: 10.1007/s13197-019-03695-9. Epub 2019 Apr 10.


In the present study, various phytoconstituents of methanolic extract of Foeniculum vulgare were identified using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method. GC-MS method was also applied for the analysis of biomarker fenchone in extract and eight different commercial formulations. The mass of prepared extract and formulations A-D and H (commercial herbal mixtures and commercial extract) used for the analysis of fenchone was 10 g. However, the mass of formulations E-G (soft gelatin capsules) was 100 mg. Fifty seven different phytoconstituents were identified in the methanolic extract of F. vulgare using GC-MS technique. The main compounds identified were trans-anethole (31.49%), 2-pentanone (25.01%), fenchone (11.68%) and benzaldehyde-4-methoxy (8.01%). Several other compounds were also identified in higher amounts and some compounds were identified in trace amounts. Many compounds have been reported for the first time in the methanolic extract of F. vulgare. The amount of fenchone was found to be maximum in plant extract (9.789 mg/g) in comparison with other commercial formulations by the proposed GC-MS technique. In three different commercial formulations (F, G and H), the amount of fenchone was obtained as more than 1.0 mg/g. However, in five different commercial formulations (A, B, C, D and E), the amount of fenchone was recorded as less than 0.1 mg/g. This method could be utilized for the analysis of fenchone contents in the commercial formulations containing fenchone as an active ingredient. The results obtained in this work could be useful in standardization of commercial formulations containing fenchone.

Keywords: Fenchone; Foeniculum vulgare; Gas-chromatography mass-spectrometer; Phytoconstituents; Standardization.