Food Fingerprinting: LC-ESI-IM-QTOF-Based Identification of Blumeatin as a New Marker Metabolite for the Detection of Origanum majorana Admixtures to O. onites/vulgare

Marina Creydt*, Friedemann Flügge, Robin Dammann, Burkhard Schütze, Ulrich L. Günther, Markus Fischer*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Oregano (Origanum vulgare and O. onites) is one of the most frequently counterfeited herbs in the world and is diluted with the leaves of a wide variety of plants. In addition to olive leaves, marjoram (O. majorana) is often used for this purpose in order to achieve a higher profit. However, apart from arbutin, no marker metabolites are known to reliably detect marjoram admixtures in oregano batches at low concentrations. In addition, arbutin is relatively widespread in the plant kingdom, which is why it is of great relevance to look for further marker metabolites in order to secure the analysis accordingly. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to use a metabolomics-based approach to identify additional marker metabolites with the aid of an ion mobility mass spectrometry instrument. The focus of the analysis was on the detection of non-polar metabolites, as this study was preceded by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic investigations of the same samples based mainly on the detection of polar analytes. Using the MS-based approach, numerous marjoram specific features could be detected in admixtures of marjoram >10% in oregano. However, only one feature was detectable in admixtures of >5% marjoram. This feature was identified as blumeatin, which belongs to the class of flavonoid compounds. Initially, blumeatin was identified based on MS/MS spectra and collision cross section values using a database search. In addition, the identification of blumeatin was confirmed by a reference standard. Moreover, dried leaves of olive, myrtle, thyme, sage and peppermint, which are also known to be used to adulterate oregano, were measured. Blumeatin could not be detected in these plants, so this substance can be considered as an excellent marker compound for the detection of marjoram admixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number673
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 05.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-17 Endocrinology, Diabetology, Metabolism

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