The effect of different development stages on the quantity and quality of the essential oil of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle in Iran



Introduction: The Mexican lime tree with the scientific name of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle have great economic value because of its essential oil with a unique flavour. Objective: The essential oils from the peel of C. aurantifolia were collected during three development periods. Methods: The essential oil was analyzed by capillary GC and GC-MS. Results: The essential oil yields (v/w%) were 1.54%, 0.88% and 1.23%, respectively. The highest oil yield was obtained at stage I (1.54% v/w). The analysis of the essential oil indicated that limonene, β-pinene, geranial, neral and γ-terpinene were the main compounds of all samples. At the first stage, the highest percentages belonged to limonene (39.38%), geranial (14.32%) and neral (11.01%). On the other hand, the highest percentages of β-pinene and γ-terpinene (24.25% and 8.92%, respectively) were found at the final stage. Conclusion: Therefore, it is concluded that the harvest time has a considerable effect on the content and amount of lime fruit essential oil.
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