Oregano Oil Constituent Identification and Quality Comparison by GC/MS
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is an essential oil with high concentrations of the monoterpene phenols thymol and carvacrol (see structures below), and lesser amounts of ketones and sesquiterpenes (including 6% caryophyllene). Rosmarinic acid is also found in oregano, which is the phenol with the most antioxidant activity. It is used to treat bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract and bronchi and may even be effective against Bacillus cereus. Oregano and its essential oil have been shown to significantly inhibit a wide range of microorganisms, and have antiviral and antiparasitic properties. Also, aqueous and ethanolic extracts of oregano appear to inhibit all phases of peroxidation.
Analytical methods were developed to assess the qualitative components of oregano oil such as the monoterpene phenols and sesquiterpenes. This analysis involved the identification of the components using GC/MS profile and a profile comparison of three different samples in a mixture with olive oil and oregano oil from a different manufacturer. This information was compiled to assess the variability of the raw material for quality assurance purposes.
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