Distinguishing chinese star anise from Japanese star anise using thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 08; 57(13):5783-9.JA
The volatile compounds from the pericarps of Illicium anisatum L., Illicium brevistylum A.C.Sm., Illicium griffithii Hook.f. & Thomson, Illicium henryi Diels, Illicium lanceolatum A.C.Sm., Illicium majus Hook.f. & Thomson, Illicium micranthum Dunn, and Illicium verum Hook.f. were examined by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). The volatiles desorbed from the pericarps of I. verum (Chinese star anise), the species traded for culinary purposes, were generally characterized by a high proportion of (E)-anethole (57.6-77.1%) and the presence of foeniculin; the latter was otherwise only detected in the pericarps of I. lanceolatum. In the pericarps of all other species analyzed, the percentage composition of (E)-anethole was comparatively lower (<or=16.0%). The volatiles desorbed from the pericarps of the toxic I. anisatum (Japanese star anise) were characterized by the presence of asaricin, methoxyeugenol, and two other eugenol derivatives, none of which were detected in any of the other species examined. TD-GC-MS enables the direct analysis of the volatile components from the pericarps of Illicium and can assist with differentiating the fruits of I. verum from other species of Illicium, particularly the more toxic I. anisatum.