Influence of Pickling Process on Allium cepa and Citrus limon Metabolome as Determined via Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics

Funding Number


Author's Department

Chemistry Department

Find in your Library


All Authors

Mohamed A. Farag; Ahmed F. Tawfike; Marwa S. Donia; Anja Ehrlich; Ludger A. Wessjohann

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title


Publication Date





Brine, the historically known food additive salt solution, has been widely used as a pickling media to preserve flavor or enhance food aroma, appearance, or other qualities. The influence of pickling, using brine, on the aroma compounds and the primary and secondary metabolite profile in onion bulb Allium cepa red cv. and lemon fruit Citrus limon was evaluated using multiplex metabolomics technologies. In lemon, pickling negatively affected its key odor compound “citral”, whereas monoterpene hydrocarbons limonene and γ-terpinene increased in the pickled product. Meanwhile, in onion sulphur rearrangement products appeared upon storage, i.e., 3,5-diethyl-1,2,4-trithiolane. Profiling of the polar secondary metabolites in lemon fruit via ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to MS annotated 37 metabolites including 18 flavonoids, nine coumarins, five limonoids, and two organic acids. With regard to pickling impact, notable and clear separation among specimens was observed with an orthogonal projections to least squares-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) score plot for the lemon fruit model showing an enrichment of limonoids and organic acids and that for fresh onion bulb showing an abundance of flavonols and saponins. In general, the pickling process appeared to negatively impact the abundance of secondary metabolites in both onion and lemon, suggesting a decrease in their food health benefits.

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.