Institute of Bioanalytical Sciences


Possibilities of chemometrics in supporting the olfactory evaluation of oregano


  • Bansleben, A.C.
  • Schellenberg, I.
  • Ulrich, D.
  • Bansleben, D.
  • Einax, J.W.
  • Schaefer, K.

Veröffentlicht in: Zeitschrift für Arznei- und Gewürzpflanzen, Volume 16, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages 180-186

One of the purposes of chemical analysis is to find a quick and efficient method to answer complex analytical questions in life sciences. As part of the following investigations, three oregano brands of the European market were analysed to identify their volatile aroma active compounds. Two techniques were applied – gas chromatograpy-olfactometry (HRGC-O) and human sensory evaluation. Using HRGC-O testers detected aroma active compounds during the gas-chromatographic separation and mass-spectrometric detection.With the help of sensory evaluation aroma was identified using sensory profile analysis of smell, taste, retro-nasal smell, mouth sensation and aftertaste. Especially new analytical methods in particular, produce a flood of data which is often very badly arranged. An effective way to overcome this problem is to apply chemometric methods. Aroma impact compounds could be identified in the main brands of oregano with the aid of chemometric methods (principal components analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, linear discriminant analysis, partial least-squares regression). Therefore, it is possible to reduce the analysis of sensory and olfactometry to relevant attributes and to combine the results of HRGC-O and sensory evaluation. This makes classifying new cultivars easier, much faster, and less expensive and is the premise for a quick and more economic identification of new potential genotypes for oregano plant breeding.