Characterization of essential oils from Cinnamomum camphora T. Nees & Eberm. and Ravensara aromatica sonnerat from Madagascar

Lalasoa Ranarivelo, Panja Ramanoelina, H. Rodolfo Juliani, James E. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The commercial and identical Malagasy denominations, of ravintsara and ravensara essential oils have generated confusion in the marketplace. The essential oil of ravintsara is obtained from the leaves of Cinnamomum camphora which was introduced from Taiwan and now is growing widely in Madagascar. This essential oil has been misreported and traded as ravensara botanically classified as Ravensara aromatica. The true ravensara essential oil is extracted from the leaves of an endemic tree locally known in the Malagasy language as Havozo. The objectives of this study were, a) to provide collectors and the international community with morphological characters to differentiate the two species; and b) to characterize the chemistry and quality of both essential oils by profiling a large number of samples and to examine the genetic and chemical diversity which could lead to the identification of new chemotypes. This work has shown that the trees in the wild can be easily identified, thus avoiding misidentification during the collection and storage of the leaves. The organoleptic, physicochemical and chemical profiles of the essential oils of ravintsara (C. camphora) and ravensara (R. aromatica) oils showed that both essential oils can also easily be differentiated using chemical fingerprinting. We propose new standards for their botanical and essential oil authentication and species identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalACS Symposium Series
StatePublished - Dec 20 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


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