Background Pyruvic acid concentration is a critical factor in determining Allium spp. pungency. This study was initiated to accurately measure the background pyruvic acid levels in Romanian Allium spp. From the pungency point of view, all analyzed plant varieties in this study are considered low pungent cultivars based on the enzymatically produced pyruvate level (between 42 μmol/g and 222 μmol/g fresh wt). Chromatographic analysis was carried out for the different varieties of the most popular fresh leaves (Allium cepa var. "Diamant", Allium cepa var. "Rubiniu", and Allium ursinum L.) in order to identify the sulfur compounds. The thin layer chromatography analysis led to the identification of allicin, with Rf = 0.377-0.47, as an important sulfur compound. The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the leaves' extracts detected disulfides as the major sulfur compounds. Principal component analysis was performed to establish the differences in plant composition. These studies suggest the potential good uses of the fresh leaves of Romanian Allium spp. as condiment, ingredient, or preservative in the food industry. © Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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