Chemical Composition of the Essential Oils of Three Ocimum basilicum L. Cultivars from Serbia
Basil essential oil (BEO) contains a wide range of chemical compounds whose content may vary depending on chemotypes, environmental conditions, agronomic techniques and particularly the origin of the plant. In our present study, essential oils (EOs) were isolated by hydrodistillation method from dry herbs of three basil cultivars and analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. Two of the tested cultivars belong to sweet basil group (B1 and B2) while the third one was large leafed ʽGenovese’ basil (B3). EO content in the dry herb was 0.65%, 0.41% and 0.62% respectively. The main classes of compounds of B1EO and B3EO were sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (38.39% and 37.95%), oxygenated monoterpenes (25.44% and 28.04%) and phenylpropanoids (17.43% and 15.71%). The main constituents of both EOs were monoterpene alcohol linalool (13.68% and 15.38%), phenoyl derivate eugenol (10.83% and 8.97%) and sesquiterpene hydrocarbon α-bergamotene (8.12% and 9.25%). In both EOs, epi-bicyclosesquiphellandrene was detected in considerable amount (7.03% and 8.07%). The most abundant compound classes in B2EO were oxygenated monoterpenes (52.07%), sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (24.27%) and phenylpropanoids (10.95%). Linalool was the dominant compound (40.97%), followed by epi-bicyclosesquiphellandrene (8.70%) and methyl chavicol (7.92%). The results showed complex chemical composition of BEOs and pointed out the presence of biologically active compounds of importance for different branches of the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industry. Although there are differences in the chemical composition of the BEOs, the obtained results show that all of the tested cultivars are rich in compounds which are responsible for biological activities.
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