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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #232914

Title: Identification of 5,6-dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one as the Major Volatile Constituent in Mesquite (Prosopis) Flour

item Takeoka, Gary
item Wong, Rosalind
item Dao, Lan
item Felker, Peter

Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2008
Publication Date: 3/20/2009
Citation: Takeoka, G.R., Wong, R.Y., Dao, L.T., Felker, P. 2009. Identification of 5,6-dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one as the Major Volatile Constituent in Mesquite (Prosopis) Flour. Food Chemistry. 115:1025-1027

Interpretive Summary: Mesquite is the common name in North America for leguminous desert plants of the genus Prosopis that has about 44 species native to North America, South America, Africa and south Asia. The plant has attracted attention due to its ability to tolerate high temperatures and low rainfall, its ability to fix nitrogen, and its capacity to grow in saline soil. Prosopis spp. produce indehiscent fruit (pods) that contain 13 to 50% sugar, 27 to 32% dietary fiber and 11 to 17% protein. Mesquite pods were a major food source of indigenous people in the semi deserts of North and South America before the arrival of Europeans. 5,6-Dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one was identified as the major volatile constituent in mesquite flour, being present in a concentration of 59.75 ± 7.07 mg/kg (n=3). The compound exhibits moderate antifungal activity (with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 8 micrograms compared to standard fungicidal compounds, nystatin (MIC=0.5 micrograms) and myconazol (MIC=0.5 micrograms)). This compound may be useful as a natural antifungal agent and the synthesis and evaluation of the activity of compounds with related structures should be considered.

Technical Abstract: Mesquite (Prosopis spp.) are woody leguminous plants that belong to the family Leguminosae and grow in arid and semiarid regions of America, Africa and Asia. Prosopis spp. produce indehiscent fruit (pods) that can be milled to yield flour that is sold commercially and is used in pastries and baked goods. The major volatile constituent of mesquite flour was identified as 5,6-dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one on the basis of its Kovats index and mass spectrum. Using delta-octalactone as an internal standard its concentration was determined to be 59.75 ± 7.07 mg/kg (n=3).