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A new exploration of licorice metabolome

Rizzato, Giovanni, Scalabrin, Elisa, Radaelli, Marta, Capodaglio, Gabriele, Piccolo, Oreste
Food chemistry 2017 v.221 pp. 959-968
Glycyrrhiza, chemical composition, flavorings, licorice, mass spectrometry, metabolites, metabolome, metabolomics, rhizomes, roots, statistical analysis, sweets, tobacco
The roots and rhizomes of licorice plants (genus Glycyrrhiza L.) are commercially employed, after processing, in confectionery production or as sweetening and flavouring agents in the food, tobacco and beer industries. G. glabra, G. inflata and G. uralensis are the most significant licorice species, often indistinctly used for different productions. Licorice properties are directly related to its chemical composition, which determines the commercial values and the quality of the derived products. In order to better understand the characteristics and properties of each species, a chemical characterization of three species of licorice (G. glabra, G. inflata, G. uralensis) is proposed, through an untargeted metabolomic approach and using high-resolution mass spectrometry. The statistical analysis reveals new possible markers for the analyzed species, and provides a reliable identification of a high number of metabolites, contributing to the characterization of Glycyrrhiza metabolome.