GC-MS analysis of the chemical composition and alcohol content in Rose Water samples of the Isfahan market

Document Type : Original research


1 Laboratories of Food and Drug Control, Vice Chancellery for Food and Drug, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 1- Laboratories of Food and Drug Control, Vice Chancellery for Food and Drug, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Rosa damascena Mill. is an important aromatic plant for the commercial production of rose oil and rose water. Its hydrosol is known in Iran as Golab (rose water) and has applications in religious ceremonies, foods, and pharmaceuticals. The increase in market demand has led to the production of inferior products.
The aim of this study was to characterize the chemical composition of 22 rose water samples -were purchased from the Isfahan market in October 2022- in aqueous phase and its organic extract and also methanol and ethanol content of these rose water samples by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results were used to evaluate the quality of rose water samples and detection of artificial essence use.
Methanol and ethanol levels in the tested samples were 5-120 and 20-835 mg/kg. Some samples unusually had no ethanol and methanol. Major constituents of the extracted essence were phenyl ethyl alcohol, β-linalool, eugenol, eugenol methyl ether, geraniol, α-terpineol, citronellol, eugenol methyl ether, terpin hydrate, isopulegol, benzyl alcohol and nerol.
These findings show that in order to determine whether rose water samples are real or fake, it is necessary to examine the samples in terms of chemical composition both in the aqueous phase of rose water and in the extracted essential oil as well as in the amount of ethanol and methanol.


Main Subjects

Agarwal, S., Gupta, A., Kapahi, B., Baleshwar, Thappa, R., & Suri, O.
(2005). Chemical composition of rose water volatiles. Journal of
Essential oil Research, 17(3), 265-267.
Baser, K., Kurkcuoglu, M., & Ozek, T. (2003). Turkish rose oil research
recent results. Perfumer and Flavorist, 28(2), 34-43.
Boskabady, M. H., Shafei, M. N., Saberi, Z., & Amini, S. (2011).
Pharmacological effects of Rosa damascena. Iranian journal of
Basic Medical Sciences, 14(4), 295.
Eikani, M. H., Golmohammad, F., Rowshanzamir, S., & Mirza, M. (2005).
Recovery of water‐soluble constituents of rose oil using
simultaneous distillation–extraction. Flavour and Fragrance
Journal, 20(6), 555-558.
Karami, A., Zandi, P., Khosh-Khui, M., Salehi, H., & Saharkhiz, M. J.
(2012). Analysis of essential oil from nine distinct genotypes of
Iranian Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill). Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research, 6(42), 5495-5498.
Koksal, N., Saribas, R., Kafkas, E., Aslancan, H., & Sadighazadi, S. (2015).
Determination of volatile compounds of the first rose oil and the
first rose water by HS-SPME/GC/MS techniques. African Journal
of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 12(4),
Loghmani-Khouzani, H. (2007). Essential oil composition of Rosa
damascena Mill cultivated in central Iran. Scientia Iranica, 14(4).
Mahboubi, M. (2016). Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel
applications. Journal of Traditional, Complementary and
Alternative Medicines, 6(1), 10-16.
Moein, M., Etemadfard, H., & Zarshenas, M. M. (2016). Investigation of
different Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) oil samples from
traditional markets in Fars (Iran); focusing on the extraction
method. Trends in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2(1), 51-58.
Moein, M., Zarshenas, M. M., & Delnavaz, S. (2014). Chemical composition
analysis of rose water samples from Iran. Pharmaceutical
Biology, 52(10), 1358-1361.
Mousavi, S. R., Namaei-Ghassemi, M., Layegh, M., AfzalAghaee, M., Zare,
G., Moghiman, T., & Mood, M. B. (2011). Determination of
methanol concentrations in traditional herbal waters of different
brands in Iran. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 14(4),
Nasouri Gazani, M., Shariati, S., Rafizadeh, A., & SafarzadehVishekaei, M.
N. (2015). Study of Ethanol Presence in Some Ornamental and
Aromatic Plants Using Gas Chromatography. Journal of
Ornamental Plants, 5(4), 249-253.
standard.inso.gov.ir. (2017). Aromatic water and rose water - Determination
of methanol and ethanol by gas chromatography method-Test
standard.inso.gov.ir. (2022). Rose water– Specifications and test methods.
Yazdanfar, N., Mohamadi, S., Zienali, T., & Sadighara, P. (2022).
Quantification of Methanol, Ethanol, and Essential Oil Contents
of Commonly Used Brands of Rosewater (Rosa Damascena) in
Iran. Journal of Nutrition and Food Security, 7(3), 374-378.
Yousefi, M., Afshari, R., Sadeghi, M., & Salari, R. (2018). Measurement of
methanol and ethanol contents in most commonly used herbal
distillates produced by three famous brands. Iranian Journal of
Public Health, 47(6), 901.
Zarei Jelyani, A., Khademipour, N., & Aghajani, A. (2021). Identification of
volatile alcoholic compound in rosewater by GC-MS analysis: A
method to differentiate original and artificial samples. Journal of
Food and Bioprocess Engineering, 4(1), 99-104.
Zhao, C.-Y., Xue, J., Cai, X.-D., Guo, J., Li, B., & Wu, S. (2016). Assessment
of the key aroma compounds in rose-based products. Journal of
Food and Drug Analysis, 24(3), 471-476