Authors dealt more than ten years with the analysis of supercritical extracts. For extraction (SFE) carbon dioxide was used as supercritical solvent. Fractionation of extracts was carried out by releasing the separations pressure at two stages. The extracts were collected as separate samples successively in time.
The traditional extract...ions were carried out with steam distillation or by using n-hexane and ethanol in Soxhlet apparatus. For the analysis of volatile compounds GC, GC-MS; of non volatile compounds TLC-densitometry and spectroscopic methods were used.
The following general characteristics were established comparing the composition of steam distillated oils with that of volatile SFE fractions. The SFE fractions were richer in monoterpene-esters and poorer in alcohols than the essential oils prepared by traditional way (clary sage, lavandel). Regarding the distributi,n of the monoterpene and sesquiterpene compounds, the SFE fractions contained sesquiterpene hydrocarbon in higher percentage than the distillated oils (e.g. 13-caryophyllene in Salvia fruticosa, (3-caryophyllene, ymuurolene, y-cadinene in Ochnum basilicum). Further the proportion of sesquiterpenes increased in SFE fractions collected successively in time.Significant difference was remarkable in respect of the optical rotationability of lovage oil and SFE fraction which was probably caused by the different ratio between the two ligustilid enantiomers. It was verified in some cases that a part of mono- and sesquiterpenes were present originally in a bounded form (glycosides) in plants. Therefore they appeared in essential oil fractions only after previous acidic treatment (Thymus, Origanum species). During the supercritical extraction the azulenogene sesquiterpene lactones did not transform to azulenes (in chamomile, yarrow), but the non volatile SFE fractions of some Asteraceae plant contained sesquiterpene--lacton of unchanged structure in high quantity (e.g. cnicin in blessed thistle, parthenolide in feverfew). Authors obtained also SFE fractions which were rich in triterpenoids and phytosterols (marigold, common dandelion).
In our research project under cultivation we examined 4 cultivars ('Soroksári 40', 'Lutea , 'Goral', 'Bona') and 28 wild populations of chamomile assuring all of them the same environmental conditions. Plant height, flower-diameter, essential-oil content, and the main terpenoid and flavonoid composition were analysed. The aim of our study was...to establish the genetic background of breeding a new cultivar as well as encircle those natural habitats that give chamomile drug with the best quality.
In the case of plant height populations from the Great Hungarian Plain were lower than plants from Transdanubia and the control cultivars. Between the wild and the standard individuals we found significant differences with relevance to the flower-diameter. With regard to the essential oil content the populations were very heterogeneous even those, which came from the same habitat. Populations form Transdanubia and Nagyiván reached the essential oil level of the cultivars (0.721-0.931 gi100g), and 75% of the examined plants exceeded the minimum requirement of the PhHg VIII.
According to the essential oil composition our previous statement was confirmed that in the populations of Transdanubia and Northern part of Danube—Tisza Mid Region the main component is bisabolol-oxide A (30-41.2%), while plants native to the territory cast of the river Tisza are mainly characterised by a-bisabolol (32.3-48.4). In some samples the ratio of bisabolol-oxide B was more than 10%. The chamazulene content was higher in the cultivars selected to this component (above 20%), than in the wild populations (varied between 1.22 and 17.2%). Populations originated from the central part of Hortobágy region had extremely high apigenin content (10-13 mg/g), but in the case of chlorogenic acid, hyperoside and quercitrin we did not find any differences affected by the origin.