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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: Mentha canadensis L., a subtropical plant can withstand first few fall frost when grown in northern climate

Authors
item Zheljazhov, Valtcho -
item Cantrell, Charles
item Astatkie, Tess -
item Jeliazkova, Ekaterina -

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 2013
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Citation: Zheljazhov, V.D., Cantrell, C.L., Astatkie, T., Jeliazkova, E. 2013. Mentha canadensis L., a subtropical plant can withstand first few fall frost when grown in northern climate. Industrial Crops and Products. 49:521-525.

Interpretive Summary: Japanese cornmint (Mentha canadensis L.) is a subtropical essential oil crop grown in Asia and South America. Japanese cornmint is the only commercially feasible source for production of natural menthol, a natural product used in pharmaceutical, food, flavor, and fragrance industries The US is a major importer and consumer of menthol and de-mentholized oil. Currently there is no production of Japanese cornmint in the US. Because Japanese cornmint is considered subtropical plant, an essential first step is to study how early fall frosts would affect its growth, productivity and essential oil quality. Consequently, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of harvest dates (HD) in the fall (designed to cover the period of fall frosts) on essential oil content, oil composition, and on the yields of individual oil constituent of two Japanese cornmint genotypes. Results showed that Japanese cornmint can withstand the first few fall frosts and provide good yields with desirable oil composition.

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 only commercial source for production of natural crystalline menthol, an important aromatic agent used in various industrial applications. The US is a major importer and consumer of menthol and de-mentholized oil. Currently there is no production of Japanese cornmint in the US. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of harvest dates (HD) in the fall (designed to cover the period of fall frosts) on essential oil content, oil composition, and on the yields of individual oil constituent of two Japanese cornmint genotypes, “Arvenis 2” and “Arvenis 3”. Field experiments were conducted in northern Wyoming (44°45.686’ N and -106°55.479’ W, at elevation of 1,171 m asl). Results showed that Japanese cornmint can withstand the first few fall frosts and provide good yields with desirable oil composition. The oil yields and menthol concentration were highest at Oct 5th HD that was after three light frosts. The light frosts may actually increase menthol concentration in Japanese cornmint oil. Menthol concentration at the Oct 5th HD was around 25% greater than the one in the oil at Sept 14th HD. Under northern Wyoming conditions, “Arvensis 2” can provide greater biomass and oil yields, and oil with greater menthol content than “Arvensis 3”. Japanese mint could be a viable crop for northern latitude (around 44° N).

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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