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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 May 5;52(9):2582-6.

Effect of storage on the essential oil composition of Piper nigrum L. fruits of different ripening states.

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Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Tallinn Technical University, Ehitajate tee 5, Tallinn 19086, Estonia.


The qualitative and quantitative composition of the essential oil from black, green, and white pepper was determined by using a simultaneous distillation and extraction micromethod for oil isolation and gas chromatography (GC)/flame ionization detection (FID) and GC/mass spectrometry (MS) analysis techniques. The most abundant compounds in pepper oils were (E)-beta-caryophyllene (1.4-70.4%), limonene (2.9-38.4%), beta-pinene (0.7-25.6%), Delta-3-carene (1.7-19.0%), sabinene (0-12.2%), alpha-pinene (0.3-10.4%), eugenol (0.1-41.0%), terpinen-4-ol (0-13.2%), hedycaryol (0-9.1%), beta-eudesmol (0-9.7%), and caryophyllene oxide (0.1-7.2%). Green pepper corn obtained by a sublimation drying method gave more oil (12.1 mg/g) and a much higher content of monoterpenes (84.2%) in the oil than air-dried green pepper corn (0.8 mg/g and 26.8%, respectively). The oil from ground black pepper contained more monoterpenes and less sesquiterprnes and oxygenated terpenoids as compared to green and white pepper oils. After 1 year of storage of pepper samples in a glass vessel at room temperature, the amount of the oils isolated decreased, the content of terpenes decreased, and the amount of oxygenated terpenoids increased. Differently from other pepper samples, 1 year storage of green pepper corn raised the oil amount more than twice of both drying methods.

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