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Vetiver Java Essential Oil: Its volatile compounds and applications

The root of the Vetivera zizanoiodes is extracted to produce Vetiver essential oil. Vetiver essential oil has a characteristic of woody-balsamic tone that comes from its major volatile components such as khusimol, vetivenone, eudesmol, khusimone, zizaene, and prezizaene [2]. However, the ratio of the volatiles in the oil will vary depending on many factors, such as the planting location, soil condition, weather and many other natural elements [1], [3].

PT Mitra Ayu offers three different qualities of Vetiver essential oil:

1. Vetiver Oil Java Crude, processed by Steam Distillation

2. Vetiver Oil Java CO2, extracted using Supercritical CO2 Extraction

3. Vetiver Oil Java MD, processed by Steam Distillation and followed by Molecular Distillation

PT Mitra Ayu Vetiver Java essential oil
Vetiver Java Essential Oil

In general, the major volatile compound in Vetiver essential oil can be grouped as [3]:

-Sesquiterpene hydrocarbon derivatives, i.e., cadenene, clovene, amorphine, aromadendrine and junipene.

-Sesquiterpene carbonyl derivatives, i.e., vetivenone and khusimone.

-Sesquiterpene alcohol (primary and secondary) derivatives, i.e., khusimol, vetiverol, epiglobulol, spathulenol and khusinol.

Some important derivatives of Vetiver oil are the acetylated vetiver oil or also known as vetiver acetate, such as khusimyl acetate, vetiveryl acetate, valerenyl acetate and other acetates made from the sesquiterpene alcohol in the Vetiver oil [1,5]. The acetates of Vetiver essential oil, which are produced by esterification reaction (see diagram below), would have a fresh woody odor and undertones of grapefruit, sandalwood, and cedarwood, and would have less earthy smell compared to the original Vetiver essential oil [5].

Vetiver essential oil has an amber-dark brown color and blends very well with patchouli oil, sandalwood oil, and jasmine oil. Vetiver oil is mostly used in fragrance as a fixative, especially in men’s perfume. Another applications of this oil are in beverages as flavor and in canned vegetable as aroma. It is also known that Vetiver oil has some medicinal properties, for example as antiseptic agent since it efficiently inhibits and stops the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria causing septic. Vetiver oil can also be used topically to give a soothing and cooling effect to the skin [4]. Moreover, the vetiver grass or khus is commonly planted by farmers to prevent soil erosion [1,2].

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