Friday, February 12, 2021

Citral in lemongrass

Lemongrass is an aromatic plant belonging to the Gramineae family. Botanically, lemongrass is cultivated for its leaves as traditional herbal medicine, spices or refined to obtain its essential oil. It is a tall, clumped perennial grass growing to a height of 1 m. The leaf-blade is linear, tapered at both ends and can grow to a length of 50 cm and width of 1.5 cm.

Oil from lemongrass is one of the most important and widely used essential oils to produce citral oil. Citral is the major constituent of lemongrass essential oil (65-85%).

Lemongrass contains mainly citral and 1 to 2% essential oil on a dry basis. Essential oil and citral of lemongrass were detected to gather at parenchyma tissue cells, specifically in the adaxial surface of leaf mesophyll.

Citral is the name given to a natural mixture of two isomeric acyclic monoterpenes aldehydes: geranial (trans-citral, α-citral) and neral (cis-citral, β-citral).

Normally, one isomer does not occur without the other. In addition to citral, other unusual active components are limonene, citronellal, ß-myrcene and geraniol.

This oil has antibacterial and antifungal activity, analgesic and antispasmodic effects on uterine and intestinal tissue, antiparasitic action, and activity on the central nervous system, as well as being an anxiolytic and sedative, and these therapeutic properties of the compounds are explained by the presence of monoterpenes and myrcene.

Essential oil and citral contents were influenced by factors such as temperature, light intensity, soil moisture, fertilizer, and maturity stage.

Normally, lemongrass oil is extracted by various ways such as the solvent, accelerated solvent, Soxhlet, dense carbon dioxide, solid-phase matrix, and supercritical fluid extraction methods. However, the common procedure of extracting essential oil is by the hydrodistillation method.

Citral oil is widely used in cosmetic flavors and as a raw material for the manufacture of ionons (a synthetic liquid aromatic compound). Besides, due to its strong lemon odor, lemon grass is often used as fragrant in soap, detergent and various technical products.
Citral in lemongrass

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SAF-DYNAMICS of Food Science and Technology