The content of essential oil in ten sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cultivars and its composition



The experiment was conducted in the Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Poznań, Poland in 2005–2006 and concerned a collection of ten sweet basil cultivars such as: ‘Minette’, ‘Mittelgrossblättriges Grünes’, Piccolino’, ‘Rubin’, ‘Red Rubin’, ‘Genoveser’, ’Martina’ and two Polish cultivars: ‘Wala’ and ‘Kasia’. Moreover, ‘Lemonette’ cultivar of Ocimum americanum L. was also included in the collection. The content of essential oil in the dried herb was estimated and its composition was analyzed. The content of essential oil in the dried herb without stems ranged from 0.23% (‘Red Rubin’) to 1.67% (‘Kasia’). The main component of the oils that came from nine basil cultivars was linalool, (from 37.07% for ‘Piccolino’ to 76.22% for ‘Minette’). Considerable amounts of 1,8-cineol and eugenol, next β-pinene, α-terpinene and myrcene were also found. The content of 16 identified components in oil represented from 69.34% (‘Piccolino’) to 96.11% (‘Wala’) of the GC profiles. Both Polish cultivars were distinguished by high content of geraniol in essential oil. Key words: sweet basil, essential oil, linaool, geraniol, 1,8-cineol, eugenol
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