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Resolving the smell of wood - identification of odour-active compounds in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

: Schreiner, Linda; Bauer, Patrick; Buettner, Andrea

Fulltext ()

Scientific Reports 8 (2018), Art. 8294, 9 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IVV ()

Being one of the most common trees in forests, Pinus sylvestris L. is a frequently used raw material for wood products. Its specific odour is, however, mostly unresolved to date. Accordingly, we investigated Scots pine wood samples grown in Germany for their main odorant composition. We employed dedicated odorant analysis techniques such as gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) and aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA) and successfully detected 44 odour-active compounds; of these, 39 substances were successfully identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC-MS/O) and two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry (2D-GC-MS/O). Among the main odorants found were (E,E)-nona-2,4-dienal, vanillin, phenylacetic acid, 3-phenylpropanoic acid, δ-octalactone and α-pinene, all of them having been detected with high flavour dilution factors during GC-O analyses. The majority of the identified odorants were fatty acid degradation products, plus some terpenoic substances and odorous substances resulting from the degradation of lignin. Although some of the detected substances have previously been reported as constituents of wood, 11 substances are reported here for the first time as odour-active compounds in wood, amongst them heptanoic acid, γ-octalactone, δ-nonalactone and (E,Z,Z)-trideca-2,4,7-trienal.