Chemical Characterization of Cornmint Oils

The chemical composition of cornmint oils from Brazil, China and India was studied during the period 1986-1991. In this paper, we list the main constituents and their concentrations, we give a detailed analysis of one of the Indian oils, and we discuss the isolation of L-menthol from the oils by slow crystallization.

Botanical Origin Cornmint oil is the steam-distilled oil from the aromatic plants of Mentha amansis L., variety piperascens Mafinv. from the family of the Lamiacwze, formerly called the Lahiateae. Reviews have heen written hy Lawrencel and Maarse et al.2 shout the chemical composition of commint oil. Some specific genotypes or chemotypes have heen mentioned in literature. For example, Donafisio et al.4 published about a Brazilian genotypewith 40% menthofuran Lawrence5 also mentioned an oil from wild growing plants in Brazil, containing 74% menthone. Voroheva et al.6 investigated a Russian oil, which contained shout 40% acyclic monoterpenoids.

Production Commint oil is one of the most important essential oils, both with respect to its worldwide production of up to 10,000 tons per year, and with respect to its economic value of about $100 million per year. Cornmint oil is important for the isolation of natural menthol. Moreover, dementholized cornmint oil is used to reconstitute Mentha pipenta oil.

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