Molecules. 2023 Aug 29;28(17):6315. doi: 10.3390/molecules28176315.
The insertion of circular economy principles into the essential oil (EO) production chain aims to reduce waste generation and make integral use of harvested plant material. Higher profits from integral use with reduced waste generation contribute to the eventual use of the EO value chain as an alternative to illicit crops in Colombia (mostly coca). In this study, Java-type citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) and palmarosa (C. martinii) plant materials were used in two consecutive processes to obtain EOs and extracts. The residual biomass after EO distillation was subjected to ultrasound-assisted hydroethanolic extraction to afford extracts that contained bioactive compounds. Citronella and palmarosa were distilled with typical EO yields (1.0 ± 0.1% for citronella; 0.41 ± 0.06% for palmarosa; n = 5) either through hydrodistillation assisted by microwave radiation or through steam distillation, and their composition (determined via GC/FID/MS analysis) and physicochemical parameters fell within their ISO standard specifications. The concentration of citronellal, the major compound of citronella oil, was 500 ± 152 mg/g. Geraniol, the main component of palmarosa oil, was found at 900 ± 55 mg/g. The citronella and palmarosa hydroalcoholic extracts (4-11% yield) were analyzed with UHPLC-ESI-Orbitrap-MS, which permitted the identification of 30 compounds, mainly C-glycosylated flavones and hydroxycinnamic acids. Both extracts had similar antioxidant activity values, evaluated using the ABTS+● and ORAC assays (110 ± 44 µmol Trolox®/g extract and 1300 ± 141 µmol Trolox®/g extract, respectively).