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Parameters Influencing The Yield And Composition Of The Essential Oil From Cretan Vitex Agnus-castus Fruits.

J. M. Sørensen, S. Katsiotis
Published 2000 · Medicine, Chemistry

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Mature and immature fruits of a Cretan Vitex agnus-castus L. population were chosen to investigate different parameters such as comminution, maturity, distillation period and extraction method influencing the essential oil yield and composition. The effect of the comminution and the maturity of the plant material showed highly significant differences in yield and composition of the essential oils obtained, as well as the distillation duration from one to five hours and the method applied (hydrodistillation and simultaneous distillation extraction). The variation of 36 essential oil components due to the parameters applied was studied. The results showed that many different essential oil qualities can be obtained from the same plant material according to the parameters employed in its extraction. Entire fruits hydrodistilled for one hour yielded an oil much richer in monoterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds whereas the best combination to obtain an oil rich in less volatile compounds is by SDE of comminuted fruits for five hours. For mature fruits the main components varied as follows due to the parameters studied: sabinene 16.4-44.1%, 1,8-cineole 8.4-15.2%, beta-caryophyllene 2.1-5.0%, and trans-beta-farnesene 5.0-11.7%.
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