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Changes in essential oil content and composition of leaf and leaf powder of Rosmarinus officinalis cv. CIM-Hariyali during storage

Keywords: essential oil , rosemary , Rosmarinus officinalis cv. CIM-Hariyali

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Abstract:

To see the changes in the essential oil content and composition of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L. cv. CIM-Hariyali) during postharvest storage, freshly harvested leaves were kept under sun and shade conditions for one month and one year respectively. In addition to this, since most of the spices are marketed also in powdered form, leaves powder of rosemary was also kept for nine months. The essential oil content was found to vary non-significantly in stored leaves (from 1.05% to 1.3%; fresh weight basis). In contrast, leaves stored in the powdered form for nine months showed sharp decrease in essential oil content (from 2.7% to 1.1%; dry weight basis). GC and GC-MS analysis of the oils revealed the presence of camphor (23.1-35.8%), 1,8-cineole (21.4-31.6%) and α-pinene (6.7-15.6%) as major constituents. The leaves stored in powdered form contained higher percentages of oxygenated monoterpenoids (71.7-83.7%) compared to those in leaves that were kept in the shade (63.3-70.5%) and in the sun (65.7-67.4%). The study suggested that rosemary leaves should be dried in the shade and stored as such for better yield of quality essential oil.

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