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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemistry of Natural Products for Nutraceutical Use, Pest Management and Crop Development

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Steam distillation extraction kinetics regression models to predict essential oil yield, composition, and bioactivity of chamomile oil

Authors
item Gawde, Archana -
item Cantrell, Charles
item Zheljazkov, Valtcho -
item Astatkie, Tess -
item Schlegel, Vicki -

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2014
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Citation: Gawde, A., Cantrell, C.L., Zheljazkov, V.D., Astatkie, T., Schlegel, V. 2014. Steam distillation extraction kinetics regression models to predict essential oil yield, composition, and bioactivity of chamomile oil. Industrial Crops and Products. 58:61-67.

Interpretive Summary: Chamomile flowers are most commonly used for making chamomile tea known for its calming effect and the essential oil is used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Chamomile flowers and extracts have been extensively used in the traditional medicine in many countries, especially in the Mediterranean region. Chamomile essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the inflorescences (flowers). Currently, there is no information about how DT would affect the yield and composition of chamomile. The optimal DT for dried chamomile flowers is also unknown. We hypothesized that by manipulating the duration of the DT of chamomile flowers, we could obtain essential oil with diverse composition and bioactivity and optimize the DT for maximum oil yield. Such standardizations can be commercially utilized by identifying the best suitable DT for desired compositions of essential oils. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of DT (steam distillation extraction kinetics) on yield, composition, and antioxidant activity of chamomile essential oil. In this study, distillation time (DT) was found to be a crucial determinant of yield and composition of chamomile essential oil, but not of the antioxidant activity. Essential oil obtained at 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, 360, 480, 600 and 720 mins showed significant increase in oil yield with increasing DT, reaching a maximum of 3.1 g oil per 1000 g of flowers at 720 min. The kinetics regression models developed in this study can be utilized to predict essential oil yield, composition, and bioactivity of chamomile oil and as a reference when comparing reports on chamomile oil yield and composition.

Technical Abstract: Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) is one of the most widely spread and used medicinal and essential oil crop in the world. Chamomile essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the inflorescences (flowers). In this study, distillation time (DT) was found to be a crucial determinant of yield and composition of chamomile essential oil, but not of the antioxidant activity. Essential oil obtained at 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, 360, 480, 600 and 720 mins showed significant increase in oil yield with increasing DT, reaching a maximum of 3.1 g oil per 1000 g of flowers at 720 min. The major compounds, identified and quantified were anethole,ß-farnesene, spathulenol, alpha-bisabolol oxide B, alpha-bisabolone oxide A, chamazulene, a-bisabolol oxide A, and spiroether. ß-farnesene showed a decrease in content with increasing DT, whereas a-bisabolol oxide A, spiroether and chamazulene rapidly increased up to 240 min, after which it started to plateau showing negligible change. Anethole showed a steady decrease over time from approximately 2.4 % at 30 min to 0.54 at 720 min. Yields of essential oil constituents expressed as g/100 g of dried chamomile inflorescences showed a steady increase in yields of spathulenol, alpha-bisabolol oxide B, alpha-bisabolol oxide A, alpha-bisabolone oxide A, chamazulene and spiroether, described well by the Michaelis-Menton model. If higher concentrations of alpha-bisabolol oxide A and chamazulene and higher oil yields are desired, chamomile flowers must be steam distilled for 480 min. However, if oil with high ß-farnesene concentration is desirable, then chamomile flowers should be distilled for 30 min. DT can be used as a modifier of chamomile essential oil yield and composition. The kinetics regression models developed in this study can be utilized to predict essential oil yield, composition, and bioactivity of chamomile oil and as a reference when comparing reports on chamomile oil yield and composition.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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