Characterisation of the mushroom-like flavour of Melittis melissophyllum L. subsp. melissophyllum by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography (GC–FID) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS)
1-Octen-3-ol is an eight-carbon alcohol responsible for the unique fungal aroma and flavour of edible mushrooms. Among Lamiaceae plants, the highest concentration of this molecule was detected in Melittis melissophyllum subsp. melissophyllum growing in central Italy. On this basis in the present study a HS-SPME coupled with GC–FID and GC–MS was performed to check the influence of several analytical parameters on the amount of 1-octen-3-ol from the plant matrix. Results showed that 1-octen-3-ol is produced in the plant matrix independently from the harvesting time by an enzyme reaction that is enhanced by the optimisation of the extraction conditions (extraction temperature, 40 °C; water addition, 20 Î¼l; extraction time, 30 min; particle size, 1 mm, sample amount, 30 mg). These findings revealed that M. melissophyllum is the first example of a plant, that under appropriate conditions, may be used as a mushroom-like flavouring agent in food products.