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Enhancement of Essential Oil from Agarwood by Subcritical Water Extraction and Pretreatments on Hydrodistillation

Authors: Nuttawan Yoswathana, M. N. Eshiaghi, K. Jaturapornpanich


The traditional method for essential oil extraction from agarwood (Aquilaria Crassna) is to soak it in water and follow with hydrodistillation. The effect of various agarwood pretreatments: ethanol, acid, alkaline, enzymes, and ultrasound, and the effect of subcritical water extraction(SWE) was studied to compare with the traditional method. The major compositions of agarwood oil from hydrodistillation were aroma compounds as follow: aristol-9-en-8- one (21.53%), selina-3, 7(11)-diene (12.96%), τ-himachalene (9.28%), β-guaiene (5.79%), hexadecanoic acid (4.90%) and guaia- 3,9-diene (4.21%). Whereas agarwood oil from pretreatments with ethanol and ultrasound, and SWE got fatty acid compounds. Extraction of agarwood oil using these pretreatments could improve the agarwood oil yields up to 2 times that of the traditional method. The components of the pretreated sample with diluted acid (H2SO4) at pH 4 gave quite similar results as the traditional method. Therefore, the enhancement of essential oil from agarwood depends on requirement of type of extracted oil that involved extraction methods.

Keywords: Agarwood, hydrodistillation, aquilaria crassna, subcritical water extraction

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