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J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jun;48(6):2376-83.

Olfactory and quantitative analysis of aroma compounds in elder flower (Sambucus nigra L.) drink processed from five cultivars.

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Department of Fruit, Vegetable and Food Science, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Aarslev, Denmark.


Fresh elder flowers (Sambucus nigra L.) were extracted with an aqueous solution containing sucrose, peeled lemon slices, tartaric acid, and sodium benzoate to make elder flower syrup. Aroma compounds emitted from the elder flower syrup were collected by the dynamic headspace technique and analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. A total of 59 compounds were identified, 18 of which have not previously been detected in elder flower products. The concentrations of the identified volatiles were measured in five elder cultivars, Allesoe, Donau, Sambu, Sampo, and Samyl, and significant differences were detected among cultivars in the concentration levels of 48 compounds. The odor of the volatiles was evaluated by the GC-sniffing technique. cis-Rose oxide, nerol oxide, hotrienol, and nonanal contributed to the characteristic elder flower odor, whereas linalool, alpha-terpineol, 4-methyl-3-penten-2-one, and (Z)-beta-ocimene contributed with floral notes. Fruity odors were associated with pentanal, heptanal, and beta-damascenone. Fresh and grassy odors were primarily correlated with hexanal, hexanol, and (Z)-3-hexenol.

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