Essential Oil Composition of Tagetes minuta L. Fruits

Kaul, Pran N


Hydrodistilled essential oil of the dried mature fruits containing seeds of Tagetes minuta was analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Twenty-four constituents making up 93.7% of the oil were identified. The major compounds were limonene + β-phellandrene (4.7%), (Z)-β-ocimene (36.8%), dihydrotagetone + (E)-β-ocimene (15.5%), (Z)-tagetone (17.1%), (Z)-tagetenone (3.0%) and (E)-tagetenone (7.5%).

Key Word Index

Tagetes minuta, Compositae, essential oil composition, (Z)-β-ocimene, (Z)-tagetone.

Plant Name

Tagetes minuta L. (Compositae).


Plant was grown in the Research Farm of CIMAP Field Station, Hyderabad, India and mature fruits containing seeds were collected.

Plant Part

Dried mature fruits containing seeds were hydrodistilled in Clevenger-type apparatus for 3 h to yield 0.50% oil.

Previous Work

The oil from whole herb, leaves, flowers and whole herb at different developmental stages was investigated previously (1-14). Main constituents of immature and mature fruit oils were reported (4), but detailed investigation was not carried out earlier.

Present Work

GC analysis of oil sample was performed on Perkin Elmer 8500 equipped with FID and BP-I capillary column (25 m x 0.5 mm, 0.25 µm film thickness) coated with polydimethylsiloxane. Temperature programming: 60°0 -220°C at 5°C/min. Carrier gas: N^sub 2^ at 34 cm/sec linear velocity and 10 psi inlet pressure. Injector and detector temperatures: 250°C and 300°C, respectively. Spilt ratio: 1:80.

GC/MS analysis of oil sample was carried out using Hewlett Packard 5890 GC coupled to an HP 5970 MSD fitted with methyl silicone column (50 m x 0.2 mm, 0.25 µm film thickness). Temperature programming: 100°-280°C at 4°C/min. Carrier gas: He at 1 mL/min flow rate. lonization energy: 70 eV. Ion source temperature: 250°C.

Constituent identification was done by comparison of retention indices with published literature (15,16), peak enrichment on co-injection of standard compounds and comparison of mass spectra of the peaks with those of authentic chemicals reported in literature ( 16,17). Relative percentage amounts were computed from peak areas without FID response factor correction. The compounds identified in the oil are listed in Table I.

The main constituents of the oil were limonene + β-phellandrene, (Z)-β-ocimene, dihydrotagetone + (E)-3-ocimene, (E)-tagetone, (Z)-tagetone, (Z)-tagetenone, (E)-tagetenone and methyl thymol constituting 87.1% of the oil.


The authors thank the director, CIMAP, Lucknow and the scientist-in-charge, CIMAP Field Station, Hyderabad for facilities.


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2. B.M. Lawrence, R.H. Powell, T.W. Smith and S. Kramer, Chemical composition of Tagetes oil. Perfum. Flavor., 10(6), 56-58 (1986).

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4. B.M. Lawrence, Progress in essential oils. Perfum. Flavor., 17(5), 131-133 (1992).

5. E.V.S. Prakasa Rao, K. Puttanna and S. Ramesh, Effect of nitrogen and harvest stage on the yield and oil quality of Tagetes minuta L. in tropical India. J. Herbs Spices Med. PL, 7, 19-24 (2000).

6. E.V.S. Prakasa Rao, K.V. Syamasundar, C.T. Gopinath and S. Ramesh, Agronomical and chemical studies on Tagetes minuta grown in a red soil of a semiarid tropical region in India. J. Essent. Oil Res., 11, 259-261 (1999).

7. K.H.C. Baser and H. Malyer, Essential oil of Tagetes minuta L. from Turkey. J. Essent. Oil Res., 8, 337-338 (1996).

8. J.C. Chalchat, R.P. Garrya nd A. Muhayimana, Essential oil of Tagetes minuta from Rwanda and France: Composition according to harvesting location, growth stage and part of plant extracted. J. Essent. Oil Res., 7, 375-386 (1995).

9. E.H. Graven, L. Webber, G. Benians, M. Venter and J.B. Gardner, Effect of soil type and nutrient status on the yield and composition of Tagetes oil (Tagetes minuta L). J. Essent. Oil Res., 3, 303-307 (1991).

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13. A.A. Craveiro, F.J.A. Matos, M.I.L. Machado and J.W. Alencar, Essential oils of Tagetes minuta from Brazil. Perfum. Flavor., 13(5), 35-36 (1988).

14. E. Hethelyi, B. Danos, P. Tetenyi and G. Juhasz, Phytochemical studies on the essential oil in T. minuta and T. tenuifolia. Herba Hung., 26, 145-158 (1987).

15. N.W. Davies, Gas chromatographic retention indices of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes on methyl silicone and Carbowax 20 M phases. J. Chromatogr., 503, 1-24 (1990).

16. W. Jennings and T. Shibamoto, Qualitative Analysis of Flavorand Fragrance Volatiles by Glass Capillary Gas Chromatography. Academic Press, New York (1980).

17. P.P. Adams, Identification of Essential Oil Components by Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry. Academic Press, New York (1989).

Pran N. Kaul, Arun K. Bhattacharya and Bhaskaruni R. Rajeswara Rao*

Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) Field Station, Boduppal, Uppal (PO), Hyderabad – 500 039, India

Kodakandla V. Syamasundar and S. Ramesh

CIMAP Field Station, Allalasandra, GKVK (PO), Bangalore – 560 065

* Address for correspondence

Received: October 2001

Revised: January 2002

Accepted: February 2002

1041-2905/05/0002-0184$6.00/0-© 2005 Allured Publishing Corp.

Copyright Allured Publishing Corporation Mar/Apr 2005

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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