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Indoor terpene emissions from cooking with herbs and pepper and their secondary organic aerosol production potential

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  • Felix Klein
  • Naomi Jane Farren
  • Carlo Bozzetti
  • Kaspar R. Daellenbach
  • Dogushan Kilic
  • Nivedita K. Kumar
  • Simone M. Pieber
  • Jay G. Slowik
  • Rosemary N. Tuthill
  • Jacqui Hamilton
  • Urs Baltensperger
  • André S H Prévôt
  • Imad El Haddad


Publication details

JournalScientific Reports
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Oct 2016
DatePublished (current) - 10 Nov 2016
Original languageEnglish


Cooking is widely recognized as an important source of indoor and outdoor particle and volatile organic compound emissions with potential deleterious effects on human health. Nevertheless, cooking emissions remain poorly characterized. Here the effect of herbs and pepper on cooking emissions was investigated for the first time to the best of our knowledge using state of the art mass spectrometric analysis of particle and gas-phase composition. Further, the secondary organic aerosol production potential of the gas-phase emissions was determined by smog chamber aging experiments. The emissions of frying meat with herbs and pepper include large amounts of mono-, sesqui- and diterpenes as well as various terpenoids and p-cymene. The average total terpene emission rate from the use of herbs and pepper during cooking is estimated to be 46 ± 5 gg-1 Herbs min-1. These compounds are highly reactive in the atmosphere and lead to significant amounts of secondary organic aerosol upon aging. In summary we demonstrate that cooking with condiments can constitute an important yet overlooked source of terpenes in indoor air.

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© The Authors, 2016.

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