Volatile aromatic secondary
metabolites of plants, commonly known as essential oils, are often
obtained by steam distillation, pressing (e.g. citrus peals), extraction by
non-polar solvents such as hexane (often followed by ethanol) or liquid carbon
dioxide. The chemical constituents of essential oils are by and large terpenoids,
phenyl propanoids and their oxidation products which are all known to
qualitatively and quantitatively vary in plants depending on environmental (e.g.
soil, type, climate, altitude, etc.) and genetic (species, subspecies,
chemotypes, etc.) factors as well as extraction methodologies used. The
quality and stability (essential oils are also known to be degraded/oxidised
over a period of time) of essential oils must be thus ascertained through
appropriate analytical procedure. The most widely accepted and our
preferred analytical method for essential oils analysis is
gas chromatography (GC) which is
far more sensitive than other chromatographic methods, such as TLC (see below).
The ultimate method of choice, however, depends on the purpose of the assay and
TLC plate showing essential oils and some
See also ....
Analysis of Essential Oils
Analysis of Lemon Grass Essential Oil
GC-MS Analysis of Patchouli Essential Oil
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