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Peel oils from three Citrus species: volatile constituents, antioxidant activities and related contributions of individual components


In the present study, peel oils were extracted through hydrodistillation and cold pressing from three Citrus species (Valencia orange, Ponkan and Eureka lemon) to investigate their volatile constituents and antioxidant activities. A total of 47 volatile components were identified by GC–MS, and then grouped by principal component analysis. The extraction methods were found to have an obvious effect on the proportion of terpenes and oxygenated compounds in the six Citrus oils, especially for Eureka lemon oils. The major fractions in the Citrus oils were found to be monoterpenes (78.65–96.57%), with limonene occupying a dominant percentage (51.22–86.65%). Furthermore, γ-terpinene and terpinolene displayed strong DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) scavenging abilities and efficient inhibition of lipid peroxidation, while oxygenated compounds of α-terpineol and terpinen-4-ol showed poor DPPH radical-scavenging abilities. Therefore, hydrodistillated Eureka lemon oil with high levels of α-terpineol (9.11%) and terpinen-4-ol (4.69%) presented low radical scavenging capability. Citral displayed a high pro-oxidant ability against thiobarbituric acid reactive species formation, which might lead to the decreased ability of the Eureka lemon oils in inhibition of lipid peroxidation, since citral was significantly high in Eureka lemon oils. This study facilitated the understanding of volatile constituents and antioxidant activities in different Citrus peel oils.

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The authors are grateful to the financial support by the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (201303076-04) and the Scientists Project in the National Modern Agricultural Technology System for Citrus Industry (CARS-27-05B).

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Correspondence to Siyi Pan.

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The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.

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Lu, Q., Huang, N., Peng, Y. et al. Peel oils from three Citrus species: volatile constituents, antioxidant activities and related contributions of individual components. J Food Sci Technol 56, 4492–4502 (2019).

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  • Citrus peel oil
  • Hydrodistillation
  • Cold pressing
  • Individual component
  • Antioxidant activities