Heracleum transcaucasicum Manden. - syn. Heracleum pastinacifolium K. Koch (subsp. transcaucasicum) - Apiaceae
Борщевик пастернаколистный (russ.), Transcaucasian hodgeweed
Perennial herb, upto 1m tall, native to Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan). leaves pinnate, serrated, hairy; umbels of 3-5 rays, petals 5, white; fruits obovate, two-parted, 8-10mm in length and 5-6mm in diam.
The fruit oil collected by hydrodistillation was analyzed by GC-FID and GC/MS and found to be rich in esters with octyl acetate (35.5%), octyl butyrate (4.3%), hexyl butyrate (8%), hexyl isobutyrate (4.2%) and hexyl-2-methyl butyrate (9.1%).
[Tabanca, N., et al. „Chemical composition of Heracleum pastinacifolium subsp. transcaucasicum and subsp. incanum essential oils, and their biting deterrent and larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti.“ Planta Medica 78.05 (2012): P_89]
The plant is locally used as culinary herb and in folk medicine. For karshm soup, the the dried shoots are cooked in water to remove bitterness, then the cooking water is discarded, the softened plant material crushed into small pieces and cooked with lentils, walnuts and wheat flour. GC-MS analysis showed that dried H.transcaucasicum shoots contain contain 3-hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone (sotolon) at ~11.5mg/kg, thus explaining the dominating role of sotolon (odor threshold in water: 1.7µg/L) for the overall aroma impression.
„Sotolon concentrations in the same order of magnitude (3.3-25mg/kg) have been reported in fenugreek seeds, whereas the sotolon concentration reported in dried lovage and soy sauce, namely 0.5-1mg/kg, were lower.“
[Maimone, Mariarosa, et al. „Odour-active compounds in the traditional Armenian soup seasoning herb Heracleum transcaucasicum.“ European Food Research and Technology 243.6 (2017): 969-977]