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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #175556


item Chauhan, Kamlesh
item Zhang, Aijun

Submitted to: Patent Application
Publication Type: Patent Application
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2006
Publication Date: 5/20/2008
Citation: Chauhan, K. R,. and Zhang, A,. 2008. Methods of separating Z,E-nepetalactone and E,Z-nepetalactone from catnip oil. U. S. Patent 7,375,239 B2.

Interpretive Summary: The plant in the mint family known as catnip produces certain volatile chemicals (nepetalactones) that repell some kind of insects (e.g. mosquitoes) and attract other insects (e.g. aphids and their predators). The current methods to isolate nepetalactones from catnip oil are prohibitively expensive. Since nepetalactones are of great value as arthropod repellents or attractants, the economic and convenient isolation of these chemicals from catnip oil is desirable. We developed an efficient and economical process to isolate nepetalactone isomers from commercially available catnip oil. This separation process avoids tedious separation techniques and minimizes hazardous waste. Scientists and pest management companies using natural products as renewable sources in integrated pest management techniques will be beneficiaries of this information.

Technical Abstract: ZE (4aS, 7S, 7aR) and EZ (4aS, 7S, 7aS)-nepetalactone isomers can be quantitatively separated by selective hydrolysis of commercially available catnip oil. This environment friendly and economical separation based on molecular property of enol-lactones, ultimately leads to valuable process for the isolation of biologically important monoterpenoids.