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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Study on Japanese Cornmint in Mississippi

Authors
item Zheljazkov, Valtcho -
item Cantrell, Charles
item Astatkie, Tess -

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 2, 2009
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Citation: Zheljazkov, V.D., Cantrell, C.L., Astatkie, T. 2010. Study on Japanese Cornmint in Mississippi. Agronomy Journal. 102(2):697-703.

Interpretive Summary: Japanese cornmint (Mentha canadensis L.) is a subtropical essential oil crop grown in Asia and South America. The essential oil of Japanese cornmint is the source for production of crystal (-)-menthol, which is a major aromatic agent used as a flavor, fragrance, and cooling sensation vector in the pharmaceutical, food, flavor and fragrance industries. The US is a major importer and consumer of (-)-menthol and de-mentholized oil. However, the crystal (-)-menthol and de-mentholized oil are imported from other countries because there is currently no production of Japanese cornmint in the US. We hypothesized that Japanese cornmint may be successfully grown in Mississippi and could provide an essential oil that is comparable to that obtained in Asia or South America. Two cultivars, “Arvensis 2” and “Arvensis 3”, provided two full cuts, and produced high herbage and oil yields. An N application rate with 80-kg ha-1 increments increased fresh herbage and oil yields relative to the untreated control. Herbage, essential oil, (-)-menthol, and (-)-menthone yields were greater from the first cut than from the second within both cultivars. The overall (combined from the two cuts) essential oil yields of “Arvensis 2” were 193 and 238 kg ha-1 for 2007 and 2008, respectively, whereas the combined oil yields of “Arvensis 3” for the two years were 224 and 132 kg ha-1, respectively. This is the first report on Japanese cornmint essential oil productivity and absolute quantification of the oil constituents as a function of genotype, harvest and N application rate in the US. This study demonstrates that Japanese cornmint could be successfully grown in Mississippi and possibly other areas in the southeastern US with similar environmental conditions.

Technical Abstract: Japanese cornmint (Mentha canadensis L.) is a subtropical essential oil crop grown in Asia and South America. The essential oil of Japanese cornmint is the source for production of crystal (-)-menthol, which is a major aromatic agent used as a flavor, fragrance, and cooling sensation vector in the pharmaceutical, food, flavor and fragrance industries. The US is a major importer and consumer of (-)-menthol and de-mentholized oil. However, the crystal (-)-menthol and de-mentholized oil are imported from other countries because there is currently no production of Japanese cornmint in the US. We hypothesized that Japanese cornmint may be successfully grown in Mississippi and could provide an essential oil that is comparable to that obtained in Asia or South America. A two-year study was conducted in Mississippi to evaluate the effect of N application rates (0, 80, and 160 kg ha-1) and cut (harvest time, the first cut was in July, and the second cut was in October) on herbage yields, essential oil content, and composition of two Japanese cornmint genotypes (“Arvensis 2” and “Arvensis 3”). Both cultivars provided two cuts and comparable herbage and oil yields to literature reports. Generally, N application increased fresh herbage and oil yields relative to the untreated control. Herbage, essential oil, (-)-menthol, and (-)-menthone yields were greater from the first cut than from the second for both cultivars. The concentration of (-)-menthol in the oil of both cultivars was approximately 50% in 2007; however, in 2008 the (-)-menthol concentration was 67 to 75% in “Arvensis 2” and 72 to 77% in “Arvensis 3”. This is the first report on Japanese cornmint essential oil productivity with absolute quantification of the oil constituents as a function of genotype, harvest and N application rate in the US. This study demonstrates that Japanese cornmint could be successfully grown in Mississippi and possibly other areas in the southeastern US with similar environmental conditions.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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