Acta Pharm. 49 (1999) 51-57

Original scientific paper  

Comparison of essential oils obtained from Mentha piperita L. using supercritical
carbon dioxide extraction and hydrodistillation


1Department of Chemical and Control Engineering,  Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy,  91000 Skopje,  Republic of Macedonia
2Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals,  Academy of Sciences CR Prague,  Czech Republic
3Institute of Pharmacognosy,  Faculty of Pharmacy,  91000 Skopje,  Republic of Macedonia
4Institute for Medicinal Plant Research,  »Dr. J. Pancic«,  11000 Belgrade,  FR Yugoslavia
Received  August 3, 1998      Accepted  January 26, 1999

Extraction of peppermint oil was performed with supercritical and liquid carbon dioxide at 9–12 MPa and 25–50 °C. Rate of extraction was dependent on the extraction pressure and temperature and on the amount of carbon dioxide passed through the extractor. Under experimental conditions, the extraction rate did not depend on the CO2 flow rate nor on particle size of the plant material. Using analytical GC and GC-MS technique, the extracts were compared with the peppermint oil obtained by hydrodistillation. The main oil components were menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate and menthofuran. In addition to the essential oil, the CO2 extracts contained cuticular wax. Only minor differences in the essential oil composition between the extracts and the distillates have been found, and no effect of the different extraction conditions on the oil composition has been observed.

Keywords: Mentha piperita, supercritical fluid extraction, hydrodistillation, essential oil, menthol, menthyl acetate, menthone