Roasted Trichosanthes kirilowii seeds have much more intense flavor than the raw seeds, and are commonly used as food and in the preparations of many medicinal formulations. Volatile constituents in the raw and roasted T. kirilowii seeds were separated by simultaneous distillation and extraction, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry on two capillary gas chromatography columns of different polarities (DB-WAX and HP-1). A total of 40 volatile compounds were identified in the raw seeds, with pentanal, 2-pentanol, styrene, (Z)-2-heptenal, (+)-calarene, and α-muurolene being the predominant compounds; 40 volatile compounds were also identified in the roasted seeds, with 3-methylbutanal, ethanol, 2-butanol, 2,3-butanediol, (E,E)-2,4-nonadienal, and 2-isopropyl-5-methyl-9-methylene-bicyclo[4.4.0]dec-1- ene being the most abundant compounds. A total of 15 compounds, mostly aldehydes, were common in both seeds. Roasting of T. kirilowii seeds resulted in a significant decrease in the levels of sesquiterpenes and short-chain aliphatic aldehydes. By contrast, high concentrations of 3-methylbutanal, ethanol, 2-butanol, and alkyl pyrazines were generated, which was responsible for the unique flavor of the roasted seeds. The study results may be useful for optimizing the roasting process and oil processing of T. kirilowii seeds. © 2014, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan.

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