Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 871–891 | Cite as

Volatile organic compounds as artefacts derived from natural phytochemicals sourced form plants and honey

  • Igor JerkovićEmail author
  • Piotr Marek Kuś
  • Ángel A. Carbonell-Barrachina


The review presents typical pathways of artefacts generation from the plant and honey phytochemicals: (a) cutting of the fresh plant material (with or without characteristic aroma release); (b) drying process of the plant material; (c) distillation or extraction; (d) thermal processing; (e) storage; (f) gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. Major reactions of artefacts formation were presented (oxidation, hydrolysis, H2O addition, degradation, rearrangement, others) in order to point out general mechanisms of the artefacts formation that could occur in any sample containing particular phytochemical molecular structures. Degradation of phytochemicals and formation of the artefacts depends on several chemical and external factors (such as temperature, water, light, accessibility to atmospheric oxygen, chemical composition, compound structures, or presence of impurities). Most common examples of volatile artefacts generation were presented. Detail analysis, based on different preparative methods, should be performed as a part of the analytical toolbox to obtain more complete understanding on the artefacts formation.


Phytochemicals Essential oils Volatile organic compounds Artefacts Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC–MS) 



Funding was provided by Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Jerković
    • 1
    Email author
  • Piotr Marek Kuś
    • 2
  • Ángel A. Carbonell-Barrachina
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and TechnologyUniversity of SplitSplitCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacognosy and Herbal MedicinesWrocław Medical UniversityWrocławPoland
  3. 3.Departamento Tecnología Agroalimentaria, Grupo Calidad y Seguridad Alimentaria, Escuela Politécnica Superior de OrihuelaUniversidad Miguel Hernández de ElcheOrihuelaSpain

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