Extraction of essential oils: chemical characterization and antioxidant, antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities

Around the world, the strategies of companies and governments are increasingly converging around the concept of using biomass in industry. Besides the benefit from moving away from fossil-based raw materials, the use of natural matrices bring health properties and functionalities to the final products and is desirable from a circular economy perspective. This is leading industries like the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutic to look for bio-based ingredients to obtain these bio-based products.

To not compete with the current use of biomass, BeonNAT proposes the use of underutilized species cultivated in marginal lands. One of the purposes from BeonNAT research is the chemical characterization of selected natural matrices from Germany, Spain and Romania (Betula pendula, Calluna vulgaris, Carpinus betulus, Cistus ladanifer, Cupressus sempervirens, Cytisus scoparius, Euonymus europaeus, Hippophae rhamnoides, Juniperus communis, Populus nigra, Robinia pseudoacacia, Rosmarinus of icinalis, Rubus fruticosus, Spartium junceum, Ulmus minor and Ulmus pumila) to know and improve the contents in the target compounds (triterpenoids, phenolic compounds, including flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, hydrosoluble tannins, among others). After this characterization, the extraction procedures can be optimized using experimental design tools based on response surface models to obtain high yields and highly pure essential oils and polar extracts.

From the final extracts and/or isolated compounds, a fully characterization of the bioactive potential will be done, namely through the antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties. From these bioactive screening, each developed extract and/or isolated compound will be analyzed according to different market requirements and regulatory documents to determine their applications as nutraceuticals, plant-based medicaments, feed additives and cosmetic ingredients.

This process was explained through a poster presentation by IPB at the 1st Online International “Congress on Natural products application: Health, Cosmetic and Food