Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) Bertoni (Asteraceae) leaves are natural source of steviol glycosides, which are used commercially for sweetening and flavouring foods and beverage. The essential oil from the roots of S. rebaudiana was isolated by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) techniques. A total of sixty components constituted 86.57% of the total oil composition were identified. Major components of this oil were α-longipinene (22.58%), α-isocomene (15.36%), modheph-2-ene (14.41%), (Z)-caryophyllene (6.18%), silphinene (6.08%) and α-amorphene (2.91%). This is a first report on S. rebaudiana root essential oil composition. It is concluded that S. rebaudiana roots, which are leftover in the field after harvesting aerial parts, can be used as a potent source of rarely occurring sesquiterpenes.
Keywords: Asteraceae, composition, essential oil, root, Stevia rebaudiana, tricyclic sesquiterpenes, gas chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, steviol glycosides, flavouring foods
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