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J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Sep;47(9):3782-6.

Monoterpene composition of essential oil from peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) with regard to leaf position using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis.

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The Plant Biocentre, Department of Botany, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway.


Monoterpene compounds of leaf pairs and flowers of Mentha x piperita have been studied by direct headspace sampling using solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). The content of peppermint-characteristic compounds such as menthol, menthyl acetate, and neomenthol increased in a basipetal direction (older plant parts), whereas menthone and isomenthone showed higher levels in the acropetal direction (younger plant parts). Higher levels of menthofuran were found in peppermint flowers in contrast to the leaves. SPME sampling resulted in relatively higher amounts of high-volatile monoterpenes and lower detection of less volatile compounds such as menthol and menthone, compared to solvent-based samples from essential oil distillation.

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