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Applications of Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS) in Allium Chemistry. 2-Propenesulfenic and 2-Propenesulfinic Acids, Diallyl Trisulfane S-Oxide, and Other Reactive Sulfur Compounds from Crushed Garlic and Other Alliums

Block, Eric A., Dane, A. John, Thomas, Siji, Cody, Robert B.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2010 v.58 no.8 pp. 4617–4625
mass spectrometry, Allium, acids, organic sulfur compounds, crushing, garlic, detection, food analysis, food composition, chemical compounds, equipment performance
Through the use of direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS), 2-propenesulfenic acid, an intermediate long postulated as being formed when garlic (Allium sativum) is crushed, has been detected for the first time and determined by mass spectrometric methods to have a half-life of <1 s at room temperature. Two other key intermediates, 2-propenesulfinic acid and diallyl trisulfane S-oxide, have also been detected for the first time in volatiles from crushed garlic, along with allicin and related thiosulfinates, allyl alcohol, sulfur dioxide, propene, and pyruvate as coproducts. A commercial dietary supplement containing garlic powder, which was sampled after crushing, was found to contain alliin, methiin, and S-allylcysteine and produced allicin upon addition of water. DART-MS detection of 1-butenesulfenic acid from the ornamental A. siculum is also reported. (Z)-Propanethial S-oxide (onion lachrymatory factor), absent in garlic, is found to be formed from crushed elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum), consistent with the classification of this plant as a closer relative of leek than of garlic. Mixtures of thiosulfinates, lachrymatory thial S-oxides, and related compounds are directly observed from crushed leek (Allium porrum) and Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum). Disulfanes and polysulfanes are detected only when the Allium samples are heated, consistent with earlier conclusions that these are not primary products from cut or crushed alliums.