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Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) Essential Oil: Extraction, Composition, Bioactivity and Uses for Food Preservation – a Review
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Department of Chemistry, Institute of Food Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 159C, 02-767 Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2019-07-23
Final revision date: 2019-10-11
Acceptance date: 2019-10-17
Online publication date: 2019-11-07
Publication date: 2019-11-18
Corresponding author
Ewa Majewska   

Institute of Food Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 159C, 02-776, Warsaw, Poland
Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2019;69(4):327-341
Lemongrass essential oil comes from the lemongrass plant (Cymbopogon citratus), which grows mainly in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. The prefix ‘lemon’ indicates its typical lemon-like odour, which is caused mainly by the presence of citral. Citral is a combination of two stereoisomeric monoterpene aldehydes; the trans isomer geranial is in predominance to the cis isomer neral. Lemongrass essential oil has been used since ancient times in folk medicine as a remedy to improve circulation, stabilise menstrual cycles, promote digestion or increase immunity. It is also used to produce perfumes, flavours, detergents, and pharmaceuticals. The method found to be the most suitable for the extraction of lemongrass essential oil is steam distillation, since it allows obtaining the oil without altering product quality. The chemical composition of the essential oil of C. citratus varies according to the geographical origin, farming practices, plant age, photoperiod, harvest period, genetic differences, and extraction methods. The chemical constituents of the essential oil which have constantly been detected and determine its biological activity are aldehydes, hydrocarbon terpenes, alcohols, ketones, and esters. The lemongrass essential oil shows a wide spectrum of biological activities. High antibacterial and remarkable antifungal activities make the lemongrass oil a potential food preservative. This paper reviews recent information on extraction methods of lemongrass essential oil, its chemical composition depending on the origin of the plant, bioactivity of the oil constituents as well as potential application as a food preservative.
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Zaki, E.F., Nadir, A.A., Helmy, I.M.F., Maguid, N.M.A. (2018). Antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) oil on the quality characteristics of camel burger “Camburger” under refrigerated storage. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 7(3), 3623-3631.
Zhou, H., Tao, N., Jia, L. (2014). Antifungal activity of citral, octanal and -terpineol against Geotrichum citri-aurantii. Food Control, 37, 277-283
Effect of adding different levels of lemon grass leaves (Cymbopogon citratus) to the diet or its extract into drinking water on some blood parameters for broiler chickens (Ross 308)
Al-Awadi Yasir, Al-Nadawi Ali
Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Effect of Physical and Chemical Strategies on Extraction-Recovery of Lemongrass Volatile Oil
Yawar Sadiq, M. Khan, Abu Khan
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia
Allelopathic, Phytotoxic, and Insecticidal Effects of Thymus proximus Serg. Essential Oil and Its Major Constituents
Shixing Zhou, Caixia Han, Chenpeng Zhang, Nigora Kuchkarova, Caixia Wei, Chi Zhang, Hua Shao
Frontiers in Plant Science
Antiviral Potential of Plants against Noroviruses
Jolanta Sarowska, Dorota Wojnicz, Agnieszka Jama-Kmiecik, Magdalena Frej-Mądrzak, Irena Choroszy-Król
Pre-inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi affects essential oil quality and the reproduction of root lesion nematode in Cymbopogon citratus
e Rodrigues, Angélica Calandrelli, Angélica Miamoto, Luanna Rinaldi, Moreno Pereira, Silva da, Cláudia Dias-Arieira
Characteristics and Properties of Lemongrass (Cymbopogan Citratus): A Comprehensive Review
Zatil Kamaruddin, Ridhwan Jumaidin, Mohd Selamat, R.A. Ilyas
Journal of Natural Fibers
Use of Essential Oils for the Control of Anthracnose Disease Caused by Colletotrichum acutatum on Post-Harvest Mangoes of Cat Hoa Loc Variety
Luu Danh, Bui Giao, Chau Duong, Nguyen Nga, Doan Tien, Nguyen Tuan, Bui Huong, Tran Nhan, Dai Trang
Antibiofilm Potential of Medicinal Plants against Candida spp. Oral Biofilms: A Review
Rafaela Guimarães, Catarina Milho, Ângela Liberal, Jani Silva, Carmélia Fonseca, Ana Barbosa, Isabel Ferreira, Maria Alves, Lillian Barros
Effect of ultrasound-assisted extraction of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil
Duc Anh, Kien Van, Thanh Trung
Chitosan nanoparticles encapsulating lemongrass (Cymbopogon commutatus) essential oil: Physicochemical, structural, antimicrobial and in-vitro release properties
Maral Soltanzadeh, Seyed Peighambardoust, Babak Ghanbarzadeh, Maryam Mohammadi, José Lorenzo
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Application of Essential Oils for Maintaining Postharvest Quality of ‘Rongrien’ Rambutan Fruit
Nittaya Ummarat, Kanogwan Seraypheap
Composition, Anti-MRSA Activity and Toxicity of Essential Oils from Cymbopogon Species
Bartłomiej Piasecki, Anna Biernasiuk, Adrianna Skiba, Krystyna Skalicka-Woźniak, Agnieszka Ludwiczuk
Lemongrass essential oil and its major constituent citral isomers modulate adipogenic gene expression in 3T3‐L1 cells
Steven Sprenger, Tibebe Woldemariam, Simeon Kotchoni, Hatem Elshabrawy, Lakshmi Chaturvedi
Journal of Food Biochemistry
Cymbopogon citratus Essential Oil: Its Application as an Antimicrobial Agent in Food Preservation
Veronika Valková, Hana Ďúranová, Lucia Galovičová, Petra Borotová, Nenad Vukovic, Milena Vukic, Miroslava Kačániová
Effects of essential oils on potato tuber sprouting at room temperature storage in Ethiopia
Daniel Belay, Zemede Asfaw, Ermias Lulekal, Bekele Kassa, Habtamu Kifele
Uncovering the Industrial Potentials of Lemongrass Essential Oil as a Food Preservative: A Review
Fatima Faheem, Zhi Liu, Roshina Rabail, Iahtisham-Ul Haq, Maryam Gul, Marcin Bryła, Marek Roszko, Marek Kieliszek, Ahmad Din, Rana Aadil
Antioxidant, Hypoglycemic and Molecular Docking Studies of Methanolic Extract, Fractions and Isolated Compounds from Aerial Parts of Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf
Hanlei Wang, Ran Zhang, Kun Zhang, Xuelin Chen, Yumei Zhang
Chemical Composition of Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) Leaves Essential Oil and Gastric Toxicity of Its Major Components to Drosophila melanogaster Larvae
Hua-Lin Hu, Dan Zhou, Jian-Wen Wang, Chao Wu, Hong-Jiao Li, Juan Zhong, Zhun Xiang, Chao Sun
Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants
Contribution of Aldehydes and Their Derivatives to Antimicrobial and Immunomodulatory Activities
Mariam Aljaafari, Maryam Alkhoori, Mohammed Hag-Ali, Wan-Hee Cheng, Swee-Hua-Erin Lim, Jiun-Yan Loh, Kok-Song Lai
Evaluation of the awareness of the effects of aroma oils and assessment of the antioxidant and brightening effects
Hye Lee, Su Lim, Da Jung, You Kim, Chang Lee
Journal of Cosmetic Medicine
Essential Oils
Hartati Soetjipto, November Aminu
The medicinal and aromatic plants as ingredients in functional beverage production
Ivanka Maleš, Sandra Pedisić, Zoran Zorić, Ivona Elez-Garofulić, Maja Repajić, Lijun You, Sanda Vladimir-Knežević, Dražan Butorac, Verica Dragović-Uzelac
Journal of Functional Foods
Composition analysis and tyrosinase inhibitory activity of Cinnamomum cassia Presl leaf hydrosol and Cymbopogon citratus ( DC .) Stapf leaf hydrosol
Bingying Yu, Kegang Wu, Xuejuan Duan, Tong Zhang, Dong He, Xianghua Chai
Journal of Food Processing and Preservation
Exploring the Anti-Hypertensive Potential of Lemongrass—A Comprehensive Review
Henrique Silva, Rita Bárbara
Chemical Compositions of Essential Oil from Aerial Parts of Cyclospermum leptophyllum and Its Application as Antibacterial Activity against Some Food Spoilage Bacteria
Yilma Gonfa, Fekade Tessema, Abiy Gelagle, Sileshi Getnet, Mesfin Tadesse, Archana Bachheti, Rakesh Bachheti, Marwa Fayed
Journal of Chemistry
Consolidating Plant-based Essential Oils onto Polysaccharides-based Coatings: Effect on Mechanisms and Reducing Postharvest Losses of Fruits
Wen Felicia, Kobun Rovina, Joseph Vonnie, Md Aqilah, Kana Erna, Misson Mailin
Applied Food Research
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)-incorporated chitosan bioactive films for potential skincare applications
Ana Gaspar, Ana Gaspar, Luana Contini, Mariangela Silva, L. G., Juliana Bahú, Viktor Concha, Rosemary Carvalho, Patricia Severino, Eliana Souto, Patrícia Lopes, Cristiana Yoshida
International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Biobased polymer resources and essential oils: a green combination for antibacterial applications
Christine Elian, Samir Andaloussi, Régis Moilleron, Jean-Winoc Decousser, Cyrille Boyer, Davy-Louis Versace
Journal of Materials Chemistry B
Evaluation of Essential Oils as Sprout Suppressants for Potato (Solanum tuberosum) at Room Temperature Storage
Jena Thoma, Charles Cantrell, Valtcho Zheljazkov
Antimicrobial, Pesticidal and Food Preservative Applications of Lemongrass Oil Nanoemulsion: A Mini-Review
Deepika Balasubramanian, Agnishwar Girigoswami, Koyeli Girigoswami
Recent Advances in Food Nutrition & Agriculture
Effect of the Addition of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) on the Quality and Microbiological Stability of Craft Wheat Beers
Justyna Belcar, Józef Gorzelany
Tropical Plant Species and Technological Interventions for Improvement
Oniha Ikhiwili, Ahuekwe Frank, Akinpelu Oluwatobi
Quality and sensory attributes of composite herbal tea from Parquetina Nigrescens (Parquetina) and Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass)
Victoria Joshua, Mayowa Sanusi, Olufunmilola Abiodun, Bukola Kayode, Stephen Olabanji, Ojochenemi Egwumah, Rowland Kayode
Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization
Revealing the Protective Effect of Topically Applied Cymbopogon citratus Essential Oil in Human Skin through A Contact Model
Andrade de, Clemente Rocha, Eucinário Pinheiro, Catarina Pereira-Leite, Céu do, Rodrigues Monteiro
Eco-physiological response of secondary metabolites of teas: Review of quality attributes of herbal tea
Maanea Ramphinwa, Godwin Mchau, Mpho Mashau, Ntakadzeni Madala, Vimbayi Chimonyo, Thembinkosi Modi, Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, Vuyisile Thibane, Fhatuwani Mudau
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Lemon grass essential oil improves Gladiolus grandiflorus postharvest life by modulating water relations, microbial growth, biochemical activity, and gene expression
Meenakshi Thakur, Vipasha Verma, Anjali Chandel, Raghawendra Kumar, Tanvi Sharma, Akhil Kumar, Sonali Bhardwaj, Rakshak Kumar, Bhavya Bhargava
Scientific Reports
Antibacterial sachet from the β‐Cyclodextrin /lemongrass oil inclusion complex for shrimp freshness
Retno Yunilawati, Windri Handayani, Eva Oktarina, Cuk Imawan, Dwinna Rahmi, Aminah Umar, Vivi Fauzia
International Journal of Food Science & Technology
A Deeper Learning approach in exploring the eventualities of solvent-free microwave-based extraction of lemongrass essential oil: Understanding milky emulsion, biomass temperature, first drop appearance, oil quality and biorefinery
Kavi Chouhan, Souvik Mukherjee, Vivekananda Mandal
Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy
Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Methanolic Extract of Cymbopogon schoenanthus (L.) (azkhar) Collected from Afif City, Saudi Arabia
Leila Mokhtar, Inaam Salim, Setah Alotaibi, Eman Awaji, Maha Alotaibi, Ayidah Doman
Microfluidizing Technique Application for Algerian Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf Effects Enhanced Volatile Content, Antimicrobial, and Anti-Mycotoxigenic Properties
Amel Boudechicha, Abdelhakim Aouf, Amr Farouk, Hatem Ali, Manal Elkhadragy, Hany Yehia, Ahmed Badr
Green Synthesis of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Using Cymbopogon citratus Extract and Its Antibacterial Activity
Yasser Mohammed, Saad Alghamdi, Hind Alzahrani, Basit Jabbar, Dina Marghani, Saba Beigh, Amr Abouzied, Nasrin Khalifa, Weam Khojali, Bader Huwaimel, Dalal Alkhalifah, Wael Hozzein
ACS Omega
Nutritional Aspects, Chemistry Profile, Extraction Techniques of Lemongrass Essential Oil and It’s Physiological Benefits
Krishnendu Adhikary, Pradipta Banerjee, Saurav Barman, Bidyut Bandyopadhyay, Debasis Bagchi
Journal of the American Nutrition Association
Edible and essential oils nanoparticles in food: a review on the production, characterization, application, stability, and market scenario
Silva da, Jesus de, Schappo Barbosa, Souza Aparecida, Itaciara Nunes, Ferreira Duarte
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Fabrication of polyvinyl alcohol-starch controlled release active film incorporated with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin/lemongrass oil emulsion for large yellow croaker (Pseudosciaena crocea) preservation
Jiaxi Wang, Xinyi Fan, Zhijie Chen, Chenwei Chen, Jing Xie
International Food Research Journal
Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf.) Seasonal Evaluation and Microencapsulation by Spray-Drying
Thais Silva, Gabriela Rosa, Milena Santos, Sara Graf, Beatriz Maia, Flávio Beltrame, Priscileila Ferrari
Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology
Chemical Substitutes from Agricultural and Industrial By‐Products
Salleh Md, Shankar Ramanathan, Rohaya Noor
A Comprehensive Review of Essential Oils and Their Pharmacological Activities in Neurological Disorders: Exploring Neuroprotective Potential
Mohammad Qneibi, Sosana Bdir, Celine Maayeh, Mohammad Bdair, Dana Sandouka, Diana Basit, Mira Hallak
Neurochemical Research
Sustainable Food Packaging with Chitosan Biofilm Reinforced with Nanocellulose and Essential Oils
Sofia Silva, Nsevolo Samba, José Mendes, João Pires, Carolina Rodrigues, Joana Curto, Arlindo Gomes, Ana Fernando, Lúcia Silva
Essential Oils Produce Developmental Toxicity in Zebrafish Embryos and Cause Behavior Changes in Zebrafish Larvae
Silva da, Silva da, James Marrs, Pabyton Cadena
Extraction of Essential Oil from Lemon Grass Through Hydro Distillation Methods Using Solar and Biomass Energy
Khemlata Soni, Surendra Kalbande
International Journal of Ambient Energy
Optimizing lemongrass essential oil extraction using microwave technology: exploring the influence of sparger, tri-spiral condenser, and ultrasonication
Irsha Dhotre, Vivek Sathe
Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Evaluation of the Essential Oils Used in the Production of Biopesticides: Assessing Their Toxicity toward Both Arthropod Target Species and Beneficial Pollinators
Irina Gostin, Irinel Popescu
Jasini Alexander Wahedi, Victor Miyananiyi Vincent, Sale Micah Pukuma, Ijimbili Samuel Bawa, Agboola Oludare Oladipo, Celina Onyawoibi Aju-Ahmeh, Joel Filgona, Joshua Oluwole Olowoyo
Scientific African
Applications of Essential Oils in the Food Industry
Nyejirime Young Wike, Olugbemi T. Olaniyan, Charles Oluwaseun Adetunji, Juliana Bunmi Adetunji, Olalekan Akinbo, Babatunde Oluwafemi Adetuyi, Abel Inobeme, Yovwin D. Godwin, Oloruntoyin Ajenifujah-Solebo, Majolagbe Olusola Nathaniel, Ismail Ayoade Odetokun, Oluwabukola Atinuke Popoola, Olatunji Matthew Kolawole, Mohammed Bello Yerima
Exploring the Clinical Applications of Lemongrass Essential Oil: A Scoping Review
Ikhwan Yuda Kusuma, Muhammad Iqbal Perdana, Csaba Vágvölgyi, Dezső Csupor, Miklós Takó
Physicochemical and sensory evaluation of lemon grass leaves extracts enriched soy yoghurt from soybeans (Glycine max) milk
Nyiranshuti Angelique, Kipkorir Koskei, Marguerite Niyibituronsa
Applied Research
Computational, chemical profile and in vitro acaricidal property of methanol and chloroform extracts of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf leaf
Journal of Sustainable Veterinary and Allied Sciences
Insights into the toxicity, behavioral responses, biochemical activity, and molecular docking of three Cymbopogon essential oils and their major constituents on Reticulitermes flaviceps
Chunzhe Jin, Ziwei Wu, Yiyang Chen, Xue Gong, Shimeng Yang, Zhilin Zhang, Dayu Zhang, Yongjian Xie
Industrial Crops and Products
Review on the pharmacological properties of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) as a promising source of bioactive compounds
Ahmed Tazi, Abdellah Zinedine, João Miguel Rocha, Faouzi Errachidi
Pharmacological Research - Natural Products
Chemical Composition, Repellent, and Phytotoxic Potentials of the Fractionated Resin Essential Oil from Araucaria heterophylla Growing in Tunisia
Oumayma Ben Romdhane, Wiem Baccari, Ilyes Saidi, Guido Flamini, Roberta Ascrizzi, Ikbal Chaieb, Abdel Halim Harrath, Hichem Ben Jannet
Chemistry & Biodiversity
Australian Native Lemongrass (Cymbopogon ambiguus A. Camus): An Underestimated Herbal Plant
Yuntao Zhou, Saleha Akter, Anh Dao Thi Phan, Eshetu Mulisa Bobasa, Maral Seididamyeh, Dharini Sivakumar, Yasmina Sultanbawa
Insights into chemistry, extraction and industrial application of lemon grass essential oil -A review of recent advances
Barjees Ashaq, Khansa Rasool, Samira Habib, Iqra Bashir, Naseh Nisar, Sehrish Mustafa, Qudsiya Ayaz, Gulzar Ahmad Nayik, Jalal Uddin, Seema Ramniwas, Robert Mugabi, Sajad Mohd Wani
Food Chemistry: X
Antiviral, Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Anticancer Activity of Plant Materials Derived from Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf Species
Anna Kiełtyka-Dadasiewicz, Javier Esteban, Agata Jabłońska-Trypuć
An overview of the potential use of plants in oral care products
Izabella Marta Świątek, Aldona Adamska-Szewczyk
Medicinal Plant Biology
Microencapsulation to Harness the Antimicrobial Potential of Essential Oils and Their Applicability in Dairy Products: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature
Handray Fernandes de Souza, Fabio Ribeiro dos Santos, Jeferson Silva Cunha, Flaviana Coelho Pacheco, Ana Flávia Coelho Pacheco, Maria Eduarda Marques Soutelino, Caio Cesar Nemer Martins, Irene Andressa, Ramon da Silva Rocha, Adriano Gomes da Cruz, Paulo Henrique Costa Paiva, Igor Viana Brandi, Eliana Setsuko Kamimura
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