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Changes in Essential Oil during Enzyme-Assisted Ensiling of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf.) and Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora Hook)

Nativ Dudai, Zwi G. Weinberg,*,‡ Olga Larkov, Uzi Ravid, Gilad Ashbell, and Eli Putievsky

Division of Aromatic Plants, Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay, Israel, and Forage Preservation and By-Products Research Unit, Department of Stored Products, Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel

Abstract: Changes in essential oil during ensiling of lemongrass and lemon eucalyptus were studied. Wilted lemongrass and eucalyptus leaves were ensiled in 0.25-L anaerobic jars. Samples consisted of a control (no additives) and a treated sample (0.5% glucose and lactic acid bacteria and 1% cellulase plus 1% hemicellulase plus pectinase). Three jars per treatment were sampled on days 2, 6, 10, and 36 for analysis of essential oil. Essential oil was obtained by extraction and by hydrodistillation. Extraction efficacy of essential oil from the lemongrass was improved by the enzyme treatment, but it was much lower than the amount obtained by distillation. The major components of the essential oil were neral and geranial. In the eucalyptus, total essential oils obtained by distillation decreased during ensiling, and the amount was similar to the amount obtained by extraction. Citronellal, which was the major component of the essential oil in the fresh eucalyptus leaves, decreased, whereas isopulegol and 3,8-terpinolhydrate increased during ensiling.

Key words: Essential oil; lemongrass; lemon eucalyptus; ensiling; enzyme

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