Chemical profile of essential oil in four Cymbopogon species grown in southern Brazil
Essential oils (EO) are substances used by pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. These compounds have useful properties for human health and well-being. Among the species cultivated for production of these substances are those of the genus Cymbopogon. Several species, subspecies, varieties, and sub-varieties are used worldwide, and studies have been conducted to elucidate the chemical features of their EO, mainly for C. citratus and C. winterianus. However, there are still species with great potential that have not yet been fully chemically characterized. In addition, EO composition is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Along this line, we examined the chemical profile of EO of four species of the genus Cymbopogon (C. citratus, C. distans, C. flexuosus and C. winterianus) grown in southern Brazil. The EO was obtained from fresh leaf tissues by hydrodistillation. Citral was identified as the main component of C. citratus, C. flexuosus, and C. distans, whereas citronellal, citronellol, cis-geraniol and elemol were predominant in C. winterianus. The absence of a large range of compounds was noted in C. distans, which may be useful for the semi-exclusive synthesis of citral and other compounds of interest.