Comparative GC/MS analysis of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.) inflorescence and essential oil volatiles

T. Zagorcheva, S. Stanev, K. Rusanov, I. Atanassov
Abstract. The composition of lavender inflorescence volatiles and distilled essential oils is significantly influenced by a number of factors, which makes it difficult to perform comparative analysis for larger lavender genetic resource collections and segregating populations. In the present study we test a simple procedure for GC/MS analysis of inflorescence volatiles, including frozen inflorescence sample storage, milling and hexane extraction of volatiles. A comparative GC/MS analysis of volatiles extracted from inflorescence samples and present in the distilled lavender oils derived from single bushes of seven Bulgarian lavender cultivars was carried out. The GC/MS analysis identified a total of 32 individual volatiles including all 11 volatiles included in the lavender ISO Standard 3515. The analysis of three parallel hexane extracts from the same inflorescence samples showed good reproducibility of the determined relative abundances of the analyzed volatiles. The relation of the GC/MS data on inflorescence volatiles with the composition of the distilled lavender essential oils was evaluated through analysis of the volatile recovery rates for the analyzed cultivars. The performed ANOVA test of the variances of the calculated recovery rates of individual volatiles showed that they are significantly influenced by the studied cultivars. The possibilities for application of the applied extraction procedure and comparative analysis of flower and inflorescence volatile compositions for large sets of lavender accessions and segregating populations are discussed.