Evaluation of essential oil content, its chemical composition and price of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) raw material available in Poland

MARZENA MARZEC, CEZARY POLAKOWSKI, ROBERT CHILCZUK, BARBARA KOƁODZIEJ

Abstract

The most valued compound of thyme raw material is essential oil, widely used in pharmacy, medicine, perfumery-cosmetic and food industries. The aim of this study was to evaluate essential oil content, its chemical composition and price comparison of the commercially available thyme. Raw material has been bought from local retail market, offering both: traditional and ecological products. Essential oil content evaluation was conducted using hydrodistillation with Dering apparatus, according to Polish Pharmacopoeia VIII [2008] and, afterwards, with GC-MS method. As far as essential oil content is concerned the results obtained were differentiated. A large majority of tested samples belongs to the thymol chemotype, with high content of thymol. In the most cases, hypothesis regarding the lack of correlation between price and oil content turned out to be true. It was the most apparent regarding certified ecological products. Key words: thyme, Thymus vulgaris L. essential oil, chemotype, raw material price
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