Plant Impact Volatiles from Higher Fungi: A Biotechnological Perspective

For a long time, essential oils of higher plants were the sole sources of natural flavors. Today, due to consumer preference for natural food additives, the demand for natural flavors exceeds the supply of flavors produced by higher plants. Because that supply is strongly dependent on factors which are difficult to control—factors such as influence of weather, plant diseases, fluctuating qualities, socio-political instabilities of major supplying areas and trade restrictions--biotechnology represents a promising alternative. Since progress in the field of production of volatiles by plant cell cultures is still slow, cell cultures of higher fungi were investigated in more detail.

Twenty strains of basidiomycetes were submerged cultured, and the volatile compounds generated were isolated at two different phases of growth by solvent extraction. Two hundred twenty-nine compounds were characterized by gas liquid chromatography (GLC), gas liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (GLC/MS) and gas liquid chromatography-olfactometry (GLC/O). Many of them are known as character impact compounds of higher plants with interesting odor impressions, representing important industrially used flavor compounds.

Materials and Methods

Microorganisms: The 20 examined strains of basidiomycetes and their origins are shown in Table 1.

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