Extraction and characterization of Essential Oil and Hydrolate obtained from an Algerian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

F. Benoudjit, I. Hamoudi, A. Aboulouz


Abstract: Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a medicinal plant which largely used in popular medicine. It has cultivated for the commercial production and used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. The aim of this work was to characterize lemongrass essential oil and hydrolate. The lemongrass was cultivated and grown under Algerian ecological conditions. The essential oil and hydrolate were obtained from leaves of lemongrass by hydrodistillation on an industrial scale (yield (v/w): 0.8±0.1%). The physicochemical properties of the essential oil were investigated to determine its quality. The lemongrass essential oil and hydrolate were then analysed by attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The lemongrass essential oil was also analysed by gas chromatographic coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for the determination of its chemical composition. The essential oil was light yellow aromatic liquid which was non soluble in ethanol. Lemongrass essential oil and hydrolate exhibited approximate pH, relative density and refractive index values of 4±1 and 6±1, 0.891±0.001 and 0.998±0.001, 1.488±0.001 and 1.333±0.001, respectively. The lemongrass essential, oil acid value, iodine value, and peroxide value were 1.402±0.036 mg KOH/g, 69.795±1.521 g/100 g and 3±0.082 meq O2/kg, respectively. FTIR spectra of both essential oil and hydrolate showed the presence of alkanes, alkenes, aldehydes, alcohols, carboxylic acids. Ethers and aromatics appeared in the essential oil only. The GC-MS analysis revealed nineteen components in lemongrass. The oxygenated monoterpenes are the most abundant chemical class (92.33%). Lemongrass essential oil has Isogeranial (41.77%), Neral (43.75%), β-Pinene (5.77), Geranial (3.78%) and Isoneral (1.90%) as major compounds. The established constituents of lemongrass essential oil suggested that it has an insecticidal value which should be investigated deeply.

Full Text:



Suryawanshi, M. A.; Mane, V. B.; Kumbhar G. B. Methodology to extract essential oils from lemongrass Leaves: solvent extraction approach. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology 3 (2016) 1775-1780.

Ranitha, M.; Nour, A. H.; Sulaiman, Z. A. ; Azhari, H. N.; Thana Raj, S. A comparative study of lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus) essential oil extracted by microwave-assisted hydrodistillation (MAHD) and conventional hydrodistillation (HD) Method. International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications 5 (2014) 104-108.

Di Vito, M.; Bellardi, M. G.; Mondello, F.; Modesto, M.; Michelozzi, M.; Bugli, F.; Sanguinetti, M.; Sclocchi, M. C.; Sebastiani, M. L.; Biffi, S.; Barbanti, L.; Mattarelli, P. Monarda citriodora hydrolate vs essential oil comparison in several antimicrobial applications. Industrial Crops & Products 128 (2019) 206–212.

Hay, Y. O.; Abril-Sierra, M. A. ; Sequeda-Castañeda, L. G.; Bonnafous, C.; Raynaud, C. Evaluation of combinations of essential oils and essential oils with hydrosols on antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research 6 (2018) 216-230.

Taveira, M. ; de Pinho, P. G.; Gonçalves, R. F.; Andrade, P. B.; Valentao, P. Determination of eighty-one volatile organic compunds in dietary Rumex Induratus leaves by GC/IT-MS, using different extractive techniques. Microchemical Journal 93 (2009) 67-72.

Paolini, J.; Leandri, C.; Desjobert, J. M.; Barboni, T. ; Costa, J. Comparison of liquid-liquid extraction with headspace methods for the characterization of volatile fractions of commercial hydrolates from typically Mediterranean species. Journal of Chromatography A 1193 (2008) 37-49.

Carlini, E. A.; de Oliveira A. B.; de Oliveira, G. G. Psychopharmacological effects of the essential oil fraction and of the hydrolate obtained from the seeds of licaria puchury-major. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 8 (1983) 225-236.

Almeida, K. B.; Araujo, J. L.; Cavalcanti, J. F.; Romanos, M. T. V.; Mourão, S. C.; Amaral, A. C. F. Falcão, D.Q. In vitro release and anti-herpetic activity of Cymbopogon citratus volatile oil-loaded nanogel, Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 28 (2018) 495–502.

Carlson, L. H. C.; Machado, R. A. F.; Spricigo, C.B. ; Pereira, L. K.; Bolzan, A. Extraction of lemongrass essential oil with dense carbon dioxide. Journal of Supercritical Fluids 21 (2001) 33–39.

Jamuna, S.; Sakeena Sadullah, M. S.; Ashokkumar, R.; Shanmuganathan, G.; Mozhi, S. S.; Devaraj, S. N.. Potential antioxidant and cytoprotective effects of essential oil extracted from Cymbopogon citratus on OxLDL and H2O2 LDL induced Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC). Food Science and Human Wellness 6 (2017) 60–69.

Mansour, A. F.; Fikry, R. M.; Saad M. M.; Mohamed, A. M. Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of (cymbopogon citratus) essential oil cultivated in Madinah monawara, saudi arabia and its comparison to the Egyptian chemotype. International Journal of Food and Nutritional Sciences 4(2015) 29-33.

de Souza Alves, M.; Mello Campos, I.; de Mello Conde de Brito, D. Cardoso, C. M., Pontes, M. G., de Souza, M. A. A. Effcacy of lemongrass essential oil and citral in controlling Callosobruchus maculatus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a post-harvest cowpea insect pest. Crop Protection 119(2019), 191–196.

Tyagi, A. K.; Malik, A. Bactericidal action of lemon grass oil vapors and negative air ions, Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 13 (2012) 169–177.

Timung, R.; Barik, C. R.; Purohit, S.; Goud, V. V. Composition and anti-bacterial activity analysis of citronella oil obtained by hydrodistillation: Process optimization study, Industrial Crops and Products 94 (2016) 178–188.

Boukhatem, M. N.; Ferhat, Abdelkrim Kameli, M.A. ; Saidi F. ; Kebir, H. T. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs, Libyan Journal of Medicine 9 (2014) 25431.

Koba, K.; Sanda, K.; Raynaud, C. ; Nenonene, Y. A.; Millet, J.; Chaumont, J. P. Activités antimicrobiennes d’huiles essentielles de trois Cymbopogon sp. Africains vis-à-vis de germes pathogènes d’animaux de compagnie, Annales de Médecine Vétérinaire 148 (2004) 202-206.

Caburian, A. B.; Osi, M. O. Characterization and Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil from the Leaves of Piper betle L. E-International Scientific Research Journal 2 (2012) 2-13.

ASTM D4052-95. Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter (1984).

ISO 1242. Essential oils — Determination of acid value (1999).

JO n° 64. Arrêté du 29 Mai 2011 relatif à la méthode de détermination d e l 'indice de peroxyde des corps gras d’origine animale et végétale.

JO n° 9. Arrêté du 21 Août 2011 relatif à la méthode de détermination de l'indice d’iode dans les corps gras d’origine animale et végétale.

Tajidin, N. E.; Ahmad, S. H.; Rosenani, A. B.; Azimah, H.; Munirah, M. Chemical composition and citral content in lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil at three maturity stages. African Journal of Biotechnology 11(2012) 2685-2693.

Danila, E.; Moldovan, Z.; Popa, M.; Chifiriuc, M. C.; Kaya, A.D.; Kaya, M.A. Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antibiofilm efficacy of C. limon and L. angustifolia EOs and of their mixtures against Staphylococcus epidermidis clinical strains. Industrial Crops & Products 122(2018) 483–492.

Dutta, D.; Kumar, P.; Nath, A.; Verma, N.; Gangwar, B. Qualities of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil at different drying conditions. International Journal of Agriculture, Environment & Biotechnology 7 (2014) 903-909.

Hanaa, A. R. M.; Sallam, Y. I.; El-Leithy, A. S.; Aly S. E. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as affected by drying methods. Annals of Agricultural Science 57(2012) 113–116.

Kanko, O.; Sawaliho, B. E.H.; Kone, S.; Koukoua, G. ; N’Guessan, Y. T. Étude des propriétés physico-chimiques des huiles essentielles de Lippia multiflora, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon nardus, Cymbopogon giganteus. Comptes Rendus Chimie 7 (2004) 1039–1042.

Olayemi, R. F.; Jawonisi, I.O.; Samuel, J.A. Characterization and physico-chemical analysis of essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus leaves. Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences 11(2018) 74 – 81.

Degnon, G. C.; Adjou, E. S.; Metome, G.; Dahouenon-Ahoussi, E. Efficacité des huiles essentielles de Cymbopogon citratus et de Mentha piperita dans la stabilisation du lait frais de vache au Sud du Bénin. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences 10 (2016) 1894-1902.

ISO 3217. Oil of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) (1974).

CODEX STAN 19. Norme pour les graisses et les huiles comestibles non visées par des normes individuelles (1981).

Meftahizade, H.; Sargsyan, E.; Moradkhani, H. Investigation of antioxidant capacity of Melissa officinalis L. essential oils. Journal of Medicinal Plant Research 4 (2010) 1391-1395.

Obasi, N. A., Ukadilonu, J., Eberechukwu, E., Akubugwo, E. I.; Okorie, U. C. Proximate composition. Extraction, characterization and comparative assessment of coconut (Coco nucifera) and melon (Colocynthis citrullus) seeds and seed oils. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 15(2012) 1-9.

Zahir, E.; Saeed, R.; Hameed, M. A.; Yousuf, A. Study of physicochemical properties of edible oil and evaluation of frying oil quality by Fourier Transform-Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy. Arabian Journal of Chemistry 10 (2017) S3870-S3876.

Munhuweyi, K.; Caleb, O. J.; Lennox, C. L.; van Reenend, A. J.; Opara, U. L. In vitro and in vivo antifungal activity of chitosan-essential oils against pomegranate fruit pathogens. Postharvest Biology and Technology 129 (2017) 9–22.

AL-Jabri, N. N.; Hossain, M. A. Comparative chemical composition and antimicrobial activity study of essential oils from two imported lemon fruits samples against pathogenic bacteria. Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 3 (2014) 247-253.

Rahimmalek, M.; Tabatabaei, B. I. S.; Etemadi, N.; Goli, S. A. H.; Arzani, A.. Zeinali, H. Essential oil variation among and within six Achillea species transferred from different ecological regions in Iran to the field conditions. Industrial Crops and Products 29 (2009) 348-355.

Hosni, K.; Zahed, N.; Chrif, R.; Abid, I.; Medfei, W.; Kallel, M.; Ben Brahim, N. ; Sebei, H. Composition of peel essential oils from four selected Tunisian Citrus species: Evidence for the genotypic influence. Food Chemistry 123 (2010) 1098–1104.

Mejri, A.; Abderrabba, M.; Mejri, M. Chemical composition of the essential oil of Ruta chalepensis L: Influence of drying, hydro-distillation duration and plant parts. Industrial Crops and Products 32 (2010) 671–673.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyright UMMB © 2020 University M'hamed Bougara - Boumerdes. Independance AV., Boumerdes, 35000 Algeria, Tel/Fax: +213 24 91 14 98/ +213 2491-29-51