A Critical Review on the Chemical Composition of Citrus Oils

Last year we studied over 200 publications on the chemical compositions of citrus oils. The outcome of this study has been published in “Volatile Compounds in Food." In addition we investigated the chemical compositions of some important Mediterranean citrus oils. Additional analyses of Israeli citrus oils will be included in this paper.

During our studies and investigations we came across several anomalies in the concentrations of the main and other important constituents of the oils. Sometimes even the identities of the constituents found may be doubted. This study is meant as a trial to clarify some of the aforementioned anomalies.

There are several thorough reviews on the chemical composition of citrus oils. In 1970 Kefford and Chandler summarized the quantitative data, including terpeneless oils and individual fractions as well as total oils. In 1971 Ziegler examined citrus oils and reviewed important publications on these oils. Shaw in 1979 reviewed the quantitative analyses of complete citrus essential oils. Lawrence wrote several compilations about the chemical compositions of citrus oils.

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