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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Nov 28;55(24):10022-7. Epub 2007 Oct 30.

Supercritical CO2 extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum: chemical characterization and antityrosinase activity.

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Dipartimento di Scenze Chimiche, Università di Cagliari Cittadella Universitaria, Monserrato, Italy.


The volatile oil of the bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum was extracted by means of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction in different conditions of pressure and temperature. Its chemical composition was characterized by GC-MS analysis. Nineteen compounds, which in the supercritical extract represented >95% of the oil, were identified. (E)-Cinnamaldehyde (77.1%), (E)-beta-caryophyllene (6.0%), alpha-terpineol (4.4%), and eugenol (3.0%) were found to be the major constituents. The SFE oil of cinnamon was screened for its biological activity about the formation of melanin in vitro. The extract showed antityrosinase activity and was able to reduce the formation of insoluble flakes of melanin from tyrosine. The oil also delayed the browning effect in apple homogenate. (E)-Cinnamaldehyde and eugenol were found to be mainly responsible of this inhibition effect.

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