Distillation time alters essential oil yield, composition, and antioxidant activity of male Juniperus scopulorum trees

Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, Tess Astatkie, Ekaterina A. Jeliazkova, Vicki Schlegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of 15 distillation times (DT), ranging from 1.25 to 960 min, on oil yield, essential oil profiles, and antioxidant capacity of male J. scopulorum trees. Essential oil yields were 0.07% at 1.25 min DT and reached a maximum of 1.48% at 840 min DT. The concentrations of alpha-thujene (1.76-2.75%), alpha-pinene (2.9-8.7%), sabinene (45-74.7%), myrcene (2.4- 3.4%), and para-cymene (0.8-3.1%) were highest at the shortest DT (1.5 to 5 min) and decreased with increasing DT. Cis-sabinene hydrate (0.5-0.97%) and linalool plus trans-sabinene (0.56-1.6%) reached maximum levels at 40 min DT. Maximum concentrations of limonene (2.3-2.8%) and pregeijerene-B (0.06- 1.4%) were obtained at 360-480 min DT, and 4-terpinenol (0.7-5.7%) at 480 min DT. Alpha-terpinene (0.16- 2.9%), gamma-terpinene (0.3-4.9%) and terpinolene (0.3-1.4%) reached maximum at 720 min DT. The concentrations of delta-cadinene (0.06-1.65%), elemol (0-6.0%), and 8-alpha-acetoxyelemol (0-4.4%) reached maximum at 840 min DT. The yield of the essential oil constituents increased with increasing DT. Only linalool/transsabinene hydrate reached a maximum yield at 360 min DT. Maximum yields of the following constituents were obtained at 720 min DT: alpha-thujene, alpha-pinene, camphene, sabinene, myrcene, alpha-terpinene, para-cimene, limonene, gamma-terpinene, terpinolene, and 4-terpinenol. At 840 min DT, cis-sabinene hydrate, prejeijerene-B, gamma muurolene, delta-cadinene, reached maximum. At 960 min DT, maximum yields of beta-pinene, elemol, alphaeudesmol/betaeudesmol, 8-alpha-acetoxyelemol were reached. These changes were adequately modeled by either the Michaelis-Menten or the Power (Convex) nonlinear regression models. Oils from the 480 min DT showed higher antioxidant activity compared to samples collected at 40, 160, or 960 min DT. These results show the potential for obtaining essential oils with various compositions and antioxidant capacity from male J. scopulorum by varying DT. This study can be used as a reference paper for comparing results of reports where different lengths of the DT were used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-546
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oleo Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2012


  • Alpha-pinene
  • Camphene
  • Essential oil
  • Rocky mountain juniper
  • Sabinene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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