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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR PEST MANAGEMENT AND CROP DEVELOPMENT Title: Yield and composition of oil from japanese cornmint fresh and dry material harvested successively

Authors
item Zheljazkov, Valtcho -
item Cantrell, Charles
item Astatkie, Tess -

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 8, 2010
Publication Date: October 6, 2010
Citation: Zheljazkov, V.D., Cantrell, C.L., Astatkie, T. 2010. Yield and composition of oil from japanese cornmint fresh and dry material harvested successively. Agronomy Journal. 102(6):1652-1656.

Interpretive Summary: Japanese cornmint (Mentha canadensis L., very often cited as M. arvensis L.) is a subtropical plant with major producers in India, China, Vietnam, and Brazil. There is no production of Japanese cornmint in the USA despite some incorrect reports. Japanese cornmint is the only commercially viable source of crystalline menthol, which is used in pharmaceutical, food, flavor and fragrance industries. The US is a major importer of Japanese cornmint essential oil and (-)-menthol. Due to inconsistencies with supply and quality of (-)-menthol or Japanese cornmint essential oil, the Mint Industry Research Council of the US indicated that mint growers and broker companies are interested in the domestic production of Japanese cornmint. Indeed, recent studies in Mississippi have shown Japanese cornmint can be a viable crop in the southeast and provide desirable oil composition with a high concentration of (-)-menthol. The concentration of (-)-menthol in the two cultivars was higher at harvests 4 and 5, and lower at harvests 2 and 3. The yield of (-)-menthol was highest in harvest 4, lower in harvest 3 and lowest in the first harvest. In the ecological conditions of northern Mississippi (or in other areas with similar latitude and environment), cornmint for production of (-)-menthol should be harvested in harvesting time 4 (end of July). For highest biomass yields, ‘Arvensis 3’ should be harvested in harvesting time 3 (mid July), whereas ‘Arvensis 2’ should be harvested at harvesting time 4 (end of July). The essential oil profile of M. canadensis in this experiment was more desirable than the profile of two commercially available M. canadensis oil samples from other countries, which should make the oil produced in southeastern US easily marketable.

Technical Abstract: A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of harvest time and drying on Mentha canadensis L. cvs. ‘Arvensis 2’ and ‘Arvensis 3’. Biomass yields were high and comparable to those reported in the literature. ‘Arvensis 2’ had greater oil content than ‘Arvensis 3’, while ‘Arvensis 3’ had higher concentrations of (-)-menthol and (-)-menthone than ‘Arvensis 2’. ‘Arvensis 3’ had higher fresh biomass than that of ‘Arvensis 2’, however, the dried biomass of the two cultivars was not significantly different. Higher oil yields were achieved from the fresh biomass of ‘Arvensis 2’, and lower from the dried biomass of ‘Arvensis 2’ and the fresh biomass of ‘Arvensis 3’. The concentration of (-)-menthol in the two cultivars was higher at harvests 4 and 5, and lower at harvests 2 and 3. The yield of (-)-menthol was highest in harvest 4, lower in harvest 3 and lowest in the first harvest. In the ecological conditions of northern Mississippi (or in other areas with similar latitude and environment), cornmint for production of (-)-menthol should be harvested in harvesting time 4 (end of July). For highest biomass yields, ‘Arvensis 3’ should be harvested in harvesting time 3 (mid July), whereas ‘Arvensis 2’ should be harvested at harvesting time 4 (end of July). The essential oil profile of M. canadensis in this experiment was more desirable than the profile of two commercially available M. canadensis oil samples from other countries, which should make the oil produced in southeastern US easily marketable.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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