Cover Image

Comparison of Chemical Composition and Colour Parameters of Different Mentha Genus Plants Grown under Organic Conditions



Mentha species are one of the world oldest and popular herbs, that are used in cosmetic and food industry, as well as tea for their medical properties. Due the consumer perception of ecological production and aromatic plants production waste utilization the objective of this work was to determine differences in chemical content and colour among different varieties and parts of Mentha plants ecologically grown in Lithuania. In mint leaves there were determined: content of essential oils, dry matter, soluble solids, ascorbic acid, crude fibre, crude ash, photosynthetic pigments and colour CIE L*a*b* parameters. In the case of mint plants stems, the same analyses were performed except ascorbic acid, soluble solids and colour. The highest content of essential oils were found in Mentha spicata L. ‘Moroccan’ and Mentha piperita L. ‘Glacialis’ leaves, while the least in Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. ‘Variegata’. The content of essential oils in the stems was minor and did not depend on mint variety. Plant parts differ significantly in respect of chemical composition. Amount of dry matter in mint leaves and stems was very similar, while crude ash in the leaves was twice higher than in the stems. Content of crude fibre in the leaves did not differ significantly in all investigated varieties and was 3.6 times lower comparing with the stems. Average ratio of chlorophyll a to b in the leaves was equal to 2.78, while in stems equal to 2.83. The lightest was Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata’, the darkest Mentha spicata L. ‘Moroccan’ and the greenest Mentha piperita L. ‘Swiss’ leaves. Mints and their parts differ in chemical content and can have widespread usage not only for production of high-value natural products but in addition as alternative fibrous biomass plants.



In press - Online First. Article has been peer reviewed, accepted for publication and published online without pagination. It will receive pagination when the issue will be ready for publishing as a complete number (Volume 47, Issue 1, 2019). The article is searchable and citable by Digital Object Identifier (DOI). DOI number will become active after the article will be included in the complete issue.


aromatic plants; carotenoids; chlorophylls; essential oils; Mentha sp

Full Text:



Božovic M, Pirolli A, Ragno R (2015). Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. (Lamiaceae) essential oil and its main constituent piperitenone oxide. Biological Activities and Chemistry 20:8605-8633.

Britton G, Liaaen-Jensen S, Pfander H (2004). Carotenoids handbook. Basel, Switzerland pp 50-563.

Capecka E, Mareczek A, Leja M (2005). Antioxidant activity of fresh and dry herbs of some Lamiaceae species. Food Chemistry 93(2):223-226.

Chand S, Patra NK, Anwar M, Patra DD (2004). Agronomy and uses of menthol mint Mentha arvensis - Indian perspective. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy Part B, Biological Sciences 70(3):269-297.

Chen BH, Chen YY (1993). Stability of chlorophylls and carotenoids in sweet potato leaves during microwave cooking. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 41(8):1315-1320.

Curutchet A, Dellacassa E, Ringuelet JA, Chaves AR, Vina SZ (2014). Nutritional and sensory quality during refrigerated storage of fresh-cut mints (Mentha × piperita and M. spicata). Food Chemistry 143:231-238.

Del Longo OT, Koroch AR, Trippi VS (1997). The role of ascorbic acid in the preservation or degradation of chlorophyll in oat leaves. Agriscientia 14:11-17.

Devi KM, Palod J, Dar AH, Shekhar S (2018). Effect of Feeding Graded Levels of Pudina (Mentha arvensis L.) leaf powder on egg quality Traits in Laying Hen. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 7(03):756-761.

Doymaz I (2006). Thin - layer drying behaviour of mint leaves. Journal of Food Engineering 74(3):370-375.

Elansary HO, Ashmawy NA (2013). Essential oils of mint between benefits and hazards. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants 16(4):429-438.

Fardad K, Najafi B, Ardabili SF, Mosavi A, Shamshirband S, Rabczuk T (2018). Biodegradation of medical plants waste in an anaerobic digestion reactor for biogass production. Computers, Materials and Continua 55(3):381-392.

Gaur S, Shivhare US, Sarkar BC, Ahmed J (2007). Thermal chlorophyll degradation kinetics of mint leaves puree. International Journal of Food Properties 10(4):853-865.

Godin B, Lamaudiere S, Agneessens R, Schmit T, Goffart JP, Stilmant D, Gerin PA, Delcarte J (2013). Chemical composition and biofuel potentials of a wide diversity of plant biomasses. Energy Fuels 27(5):2588-2598.

Golparvar AM, Hadipanah A (2016). Diversity in chemical composition and yield of essential oil from two Mentha species. Genetika 48(3):1101-1110.

Gond V, Depury DGG, Veroustraete F, Ceulemans R (2012). Seasonal variations in leaf area index, leaf chlorophyll, and water content; scaling-up to estimate fapar and carbon balance in a multilayer, multispecies temperate forest. Tree Physiology 19(10):673-679.

Grzeszczuk M, Jadczak D (2009). Estimation of biological value of some species of mint (Mentha L.). Herba Polonica 5(3):193-199.

Gupta AK, Mishra R, Singh AK, Srivastava A, Lal RK (2017). Genetic variability and correlations of essential oil yield with agro-economic traits in Mentha species and identification of promising cultivars. Industrial Crops and Products 95:726-734.

Hussain AI, Anwar F, Nigam PS, Ashraf M, Gilani AH (2010). Seasonal variation in content, chemical composition and antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of essential oils from four Mentha species. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90(11):1827-36.

Jacob ME, Fox JT, Reinstein SL, Nagaraja TG (2008). Antimicrobial susceptibility of foodborne pathogens in organic or natural production systems: an overview. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 5:721-730.

Kahkashan P, Bokhari N, Siddique I, Siddiqui I (2016). Influence of Soil Type on the Growth Parameters, Essential Oil Yield and Biochemical Contents of Mentha arvensis L. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants 19(1):76-81.

Kumar JK, Sinha AK (2004). Resurgence of natural colorants: a holistic view. Natural Product Letters 18(1):59-84.

Lin CSK, Koutinas AA, Stamatelatou K, Mubofu EB, Matharu AS, Kopsahelis N, Luque R (2014). Current and future trends in food waste valorization for the production of chemicals, materials and fuels: A global perspective. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biore?ning 8:686-715.

Lst En Iso 6571 (2013). Spices, condiments and herbs-determination ovolatile oil content (hydrodistillation method). Lietuvos standartizacijos departamentas. 13.

Lst Iso 6557-2 (2000). Vaisiai, daržoves ir ju gaminiai. Askorbo rugšties kiekio nustatymas. 2 dalis. Iprastiniai metodai (tpt ISO 6557-2:1984 [E]). 6.

Lykkesfeldt J, Michels AJ, Frei B (2014). Vitamin C. Advances in Nutrition 5(1):16-18.

Mahboobeh Z, Morteza AS, Mryam T, Reza (2014). Effects of organic and chemical fertilizers on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.). International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences 7(5):237-244.

McGuire RG (1992). Reporting of objective color measurements. HortScience 27(12):1254-1255.

Methodenbuch (1983-1999). Band III. Die chemishe Untersuchung von Futtermitteln. Verlag-Darmstadt.

Miri SM, Ahmadi S, Moradi P (2015). Influence of salicylic acid and citric acid on the growth, biochemical characteristics and essential oil content of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Journal of Medicinal Plants and By-products 2:141-146.

Mlodzinska E (2009). Survey of plant pigments: Molecular and environmental determinants of plant colors. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia Series Botanica 51(1):7-16.

Nambara E, Marion-Poll A (2005) Abscisic acid biosynthesis and catabolism. Annual Review of Plant Biology 56:165-185.

Niyogi K (2000). Safety valves for photosynthesis. Current Opinions in Plant Biology 3:455-460.

Prakash OM, Naik M, Katiyar R, Naik S, Kumar D, Maji D, … Rout PK (2018). Novel process for isolation of major bio-polymers from Mentha arvensis distilled biomass and saccharification of the isolated cellulose to glucose. Industrial Crops and Products 119:1-8.

Raja R (2012). Medicinally potential plants of Labiatae (Lamiaceae) Family: An overview. Journal of Medicinal Plant 6(3):203-213.

Reis IAO, Santos SB, Santos LA, Oliveira N, Freire MG, Pereira JFB, Lima AS (2012). Increased significance of food wastes: Selective recovery of added-value compounds. Food Chemistry 135:2453-2461.

Roselló-Soto E, Koubaa M, Moubarik A, Lopes RP, Saraiva JA, Boussetta N, Barba FJ (2015). Emerging opportunities for the effective valorization of wastes and by-products generated during olive oil production process: Nonconventional methods for the recovery of high-added value compounds. Trends in Food Science and Technology 45:296-310.

Rubinskiene M, Viškelis P, Dambrauskiene E, Viškelis J, Karkleliene R (2015). Effect of drying methods on the chemical composition and colour of peppermint (Mentha × piperita L.) leaves. Zemdirbyste – Agriculture 102(2):223-228.

Saeed K, Pasha I, Bukhari H, Masood S, Butt MS, Iftikhar T, Shujah U, Ud D (2014). Compositional profiling of Mentha piperita. Pakistan Journal of Food Sciences 24(3):151-156.

Senge MO (1993). Recent advances in the biosynthesis and chemistry of chlorophylls. Photochemistry and Photobiology 57:189-206.

Senn ME, Grozeff GEG, Alegre ML, Barrile F, De Tullio MC, Bartoli CG (2016). Effect of mitochondrial ascorbic acid synthesis on photosynthesis. Plants Physiology and Biochemistry 104:29-35.

Shahidi F, Ambigaipalan P (2015). Phenolics and polyphenolics in foods, beverages and spices: Antioxidant activity and health effects – A review. Journal of Functional Foods 18:820-897.

Skowera B, Pula J (2004). Pluviometric extreme conditions in spring season in Poland in the years 1971-2000. Acta Agrophysica 3(1):171-177.

Straumite E, Kruma Z, Galoburda R (2015). Pigments in mint leaves and stems. Agronomy Research 13(4):1104-1111.

Sulieman AME, Abdelrahman SE, Abdel Rahim AM (2011). Phytochemical analysis of local spearmint (Mentha spicata) leaves and detection of the antimicrobial activity of its oil. Journal of Microbiology Research 1(1):1-4.

Triphaty V, Basak BB, Varghes TS, Saha A (2015). Residues and contaminants in medicinal herbs – A review. Phytochemistry Letters 14:67-78.

Tucker AO (2007). Mentha: Economic Uses. In: Lawrence BM (Ed). Mint, the genus Mentha. Boca Raton, Florida, United States of America pp 519-522.

Wellburn AR (1994). The spectral determination of chlorophylls a and b, as well as total carotenoids, using various solvents with spectrophotometers of different resolution. Plant Physiology 144(3):307-313.

Who (2011). Quality control methods for herbal materials. World Health Organization. Geneva pp 51-89.

Young JE., Zhao X, Carey EE, Welti R, Yang S, Wang W (2005). Phytochemical phenolics in organically grown vegetables. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 49:1136-1142.

Zhang W, Wang SH (2001). Antioxidant activity compounds in selected herbs. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49(11):5165-5170.

Zollinger H (1991). Color chemistry: Synthetic, properties and applications of organic dyes and pigments. VCH, Weinheim, Germany.


June 1, 2018: Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca in Scopus – Elsevier CiteScore 2017=0.78, Horticulture; Agronomy and Crop Science; Plant Science