Commercial sandalwood essential oils are obtained by hydrodistillation of the heartwood of 20-year-old trees mainly from three Santalum species (family Santalaceae): a) Santalum album L., also known as ‘East Indian’, (Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Northern Western Australia), b) S. austrocaledonicum Vieill., (New Caledonian and Vanuatu archipelagos), c) S. spicatum (R. Br.) A. DC, (Southwestern Australia). The Indian type is the most considered in perfumery because of its organoleptic properties. Quality control (QC) of S. album and S. spicatum essential oils are nowadays regulated with international norms [1,2] requiring a primary free alcohol content, expressed as santalol, not lower than 90%, with (Z)-a- santalol ranging from 41 to 55% and (Z)-b-santalol from16 to 24%. Analysis of sandalwood essential oil has recently been reviewed by Baldovini et al . Regulatory rules require that (E,E)-a-farnesol, a minor sandalwood component suspected to be a fragrance allergen, is quantified; unfortunately, this alcohols cannot be base-line separated in a single GC run, since it co-elutes with (Z)-b-santalol on non-polar columns, and with (Z)-a-santalol on polar columns. Multidimensional GC methods including GCxGC and MDGC have therefore successfully been developed [4 – 6]. New perspectives have recently been opened up in GC by the introduction of ionic liquids as stationary phases because of their selectivity towards specific chemical classes that are completely different from those of the conventional phases. This communication reports the results of a study dealing with the simultaneous separation of farnesol and santalol isomers in a single GC run and (E,E)-a-farnesol quantitation in a set of sandalwood essential oils from different species by GC-MS with an ionic liquid stationary phase column (Supelco – IL 60) References 1. ISO-FDIS 3518 (2001) 2. ISO 22759(2009) 3. N Baldovini, C Delasalle, et al. (2011) Flavour Fragr. J., 26: 7–26 4. R Shellie, P Marriott, et al., (2004) J. Chromatogr. Sci. 42: 417. 5. A Klamecki, H Brévard, et al. (2006) Proc. of 37th International Symposium on Essential Oils, Grasse, Sept. 10–13, p.168. 6. D Sciarrone, R Costa, et al. (2011) J. Chromatogr. A, 1218 137–142
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