Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of essential oils of citrus in Vietnam
Laboratory of Chemical Engineering
University of Technology, Vietnam National University in HoChiMinh City
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan Phi
Citrus is one of the most important fruit crops in the world. Vietnam is situated in South-East Asia where citrus is origin. The health-promoting effects of Citrus derive not only from vitamin C but also from other phytochemicals, mainly flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins, minerals and organic acids. Citrus essential oil is intensively accumulated in oil glands of the peel, accounting for approximately 1% of fruit weight on average. Citrus essential oil is commercially used for food flavorings, toiletry products, comestics, perfumes, and so forth. The objective of this study is to investigate impact of extraction methods, cold-pressing and vacuum-distillation methods, on yield, chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of citrus essential oils were investigated. The results indicate that the yields of citrus essential oils extracted by the vacuum-distillation method were significantly higher than those extracted by the cold-pressing methods. The study also found that all citrus essential oils showed high antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, in which lime essential oils showed the strongest antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activities against all microorganisms tested. The lowest antioxidant and antimicrobial activities were recorded in orange essential oils. The results of this study supply the useful information for applying the citrus essential oils as flavoring and preservatives in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.