Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Zingiber officinale Roscoe L. from Cuba

Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Zingiber officinale Roscoe L. from Cuba

Pino, Jorge A


The chemical composition of the essential oil obtained from the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe from Cuba was examined by combined GC and GC/MS. The oil was characterized by the presence of ar-curcumene (22.1%), zingiberene (11.7%), [beta]-bisabolene (11.2%) and cadina-1,4-diene (12.5%).

Key Word Index

Zingiber officinale, Zingiberaceae, ginger, essential oil composition, ar-curcumene, zingiberene, [beta]-bisabolene, [beta]-sesquiphellandrene.

Plant Name

Zingiber officinale (Zingiberaceae).


The plant material was collected at a commercial plantation near Havana. A voucher specimen was deposited at the Herbarium of the National Botanic Garden in Havana.

Plant Part

Rhizomes (9 months old) were air-dried for 10 days and carefully milled to 20-40 mesh size particles. The oil (1.1%) was obtained by hydrodistillation for 5 h in a Clevenger-type apparatus.

Previous Work

In traditional medicine, the rhizomes of ginger were held to possess medicinal properties. The geographic origin, the maturity at harvest and the agroclimatic conditions are some factors influencing variation in composition of different ginger varieties (1,2). The oil of Z. officinale has been the object of several chemical and pharmacological studies (3-9). Lawrence reviewed other studies (10-15). Some species are high in sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and relatively low in monoterpene hydrocarbons while others have the opposite proportions. The species under study is cultivated in Cuba for pharmaceutical uses, yet the composition of its oil is unknown.

Present Work

The oil was analyzed by GC using a Hewlett-Packard 6890 GC equipped with a flame ionization detector (FID). The separations were performed using an SPB-5 column (30 m × 0.25 mm, 0.25 µm film thickness) with an oven temperature program of 60°C (2 min), then at 4°C/min to 250°C (20 min). The carrier gas was helium with a flow-rate of 1 mL/ min. The temperature of the injector and detector was 250°C. The injection was made in the split mode (1:10 ratio). The relative amounts of individual components were based on electronic integration of peak areas, without FID response factor correction.

GC/MS analysis of the oil was performed on a Hewlett-Packard series 6890 (series II) gas Chromatograph equipped with an HP 5973 mass-selective detector. The chromatographie conditions were the same as those described for the GC-FID. The detector operated in impact electron mode (70 eV) at 230°C. Detection was performed in the scan mode between 35 and 400 anm.

Component identification was carried out by comparing the relative retention indices and mass spectra of reference compounds in both columns. Mass spectra of published data were also compared (16,17).

The volatile compounds identified in the oil of ginger from Cuba are listed in Table I. The oil was high in sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and relatively low in monoterpene hydrocarbons. The oil was dominated by ar-curcumene (22.1%), [alpha]-zingiberenc (11.7%), [beta]-bisabolene (11.2%) and [beta]-sesquiphellandrene (10.5%).


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Jorge A. Pino*

Instituto de Investigacumes para la Industriel Alimenticia (IIIA), Carretem del Guatao km 3 1/2, La liabana 19200, Cuba

Rolando Marbot and Aristides Rosado

Centro Nacional de Iiwestigaciones Científcas, La Habana, Cuba

Aidelys Batista

Empresa Laboratorio Varmacéutico Saul Delgndo, La Habana, Cuba

* Address for correspondence

Received: October 2001

Revised: January 2002

Accepted: February 2002

1041-2905/04/0003-0186$6.00/0-© 2004 Allured Publishing Corp.

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