Lemon Myrtle found to be the most lemony plant

There's something about the smell of lemons that just makes you feel good. It's no wonder then that lemon myrtle is a popular ingredient in natural products. In this article, we'll take a closer look at citral, the compound responsible for lemon myrtle's distinctive smell, and discuss why it's such an important ingredient in natural products. 

Citral is a chemical compound found in several plants that gives them a “lemony” scent and taste.

It is found in lemons, lemongrass, lemon verbena, and of course, lemon myrtle. The chemical name for citral is (C10H16O), or 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal. Citral is insoluble (cannot be dissolved) in water, but soluble in ethanol, diethyl ether, or mineral oil. The citral chemical comes in two forms: citral a (neral) and citral b (geranial). These forms have the same chemical formula but form slightly different compound structures. In lemon myrtle, the average citral content is made up of approximately 38.7% citral a and 52.5% citral b. Citral was first identified more than 100 years ago from the Australian native lemon myrtle plant and has been studied and used in many different applications since then.

Citral

 

Lemon myrtle leaves are a very rich source of citral, containing the highest amount of citral of any plant.

While oils extracted from lemon myrtle consistently yield over 90% citral, oils from lemongrass, lemon, and lime yield 65-85%, 2-5%, and 4% citral, respectively. In fact, the flavour and aroma of lemon myrtle have been described as ‘lemonier than lemon’. Luckily, lemon myrtle in Australia is not subject to seasonal growth and is available all year long! It is usually grown in plantations in the subtropical rainforests of Australia’s eastern coastal hinterlands. Lemon myrtle is then harvested fresh before drying the leaves or extracting the oils using a process called distillation. Typically the oil is distilled from the leaves within 48 hours of harvesting off the trees, protecting its freshness.

Lemon Myrtle has many different uses. With its lemony scent and flavour, it is frequently used in various cooking applications and aromatics. It is often used in aromatherapies, which have been shown to be helpful in reducing stress and producing positive emotions. Due to its antimicrobial nature, it is also used in range of household cleaning products, disinfectants, and hand sanitizers.

Citral has many other amazing benefits that open up the possibility of future uses of lemon myrtle.

First, citral has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Lemon myrtle can inhibit the growth of a variety of bacterial, viral, and fungal strains. Citral is also a Monoterpene, a group of chemicals that are highly antioxidant. Citral has also been shown to reduce inflammation and improve metabolism of carbohydrates by disrupting the development of fat cells. Lemon myrtle essential oil can be added to room diffusers to freshen a room. This may relieve stress, while also repelling insects as both citral and citronella, both found in lemon myrtle, are common fragrances used for insect repellent.

If you’re looking to add a little citrusy zing to your product lineup, Lemon Myrtle may be the ingredient you’ve been searching for. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you harness the power of this versatile plant.

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