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The content and composition of active ingredients and essential oils in medicinal and aromatic plants have been studied for several decades. The volatile compounds in essential oils have been analysed routinely using gas chromatography (GC) since 1966, and with GC coupled to mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS) since 1978.The 13 rose varieties selected for chemical analysis varied for colour, shape and fragrance. The static headspace solid phase microextraction (sHS-SPME) technique recently developed for sample preparation and sample enrichment was used to study the volatile aromatic components.The main volatile compound of a sweet-smelling purple rose was found to be phenyl ethyl alcohol (33–52%). The phenyl ethyl alcohol content of fragrant rose flowers with blackish-purple petals increased continuously from early summer to late autumn (from 17 to 70 %). The dominant aromatic components of the yellow, orange and pink rose flowers were hexanol, hexenyl acetate and benzyl alcohol. Phenyl ethyl alcohol and orcinol dimethyl ether were the main constituents of the fragrant pink and white rose varieties. Methyl vinyl anisol and orcinol dimethyl ether were dominant in rose flowers with beige petals. In summary, it can be concluded that the SPME-GC/MS method is suitable for the characterization of rose varieties and for the chemical analysis of aromatic volatile compounds.

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Acta Agronomica Hungarica
É. Héthelyi
B. Galambosi
S. Szarka
É. Lemberkovics
, and
É. Szőke

The chemical contents of 47 herb and medicinal plant species cultivated in Finland during 2001–2011 were analysed in Hungary, and a total of 101 components were determined.The phytochemical evaluation of the herbs was aimed at interpretating the effects observed in acclimatization studies performed under Nordic climatic conditions. The phytochemical analysis was successfully applied for the quality control of medicinal, aromatic and culinary herbs, and provided numerous new scientific results (Acorus calamus, Artemisia abrotanum, A. paniculata, Gentiana lutea, Ligusticum scoticum, Perilla frutescens, Rhodiola rosea, Satureja biflora, Tagetes lucida). The results will provide useful guidelines for growers both in Finland and Hungary.

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