Exploring the chemical composition of essential oils from various Pinus species

In this study, researchers from Italy and Kosovo investigated the chemical composition and biological activities of essential oils derived from Pinus heldreichii (Bosnian pine), P. peuce (Macedonian pine), P. mugo (mountain pine), P. nigra (Austrian pine) and P. sylvestris (Scots pine). Their findings were published in the Journal of Essential Oil Research.

  • Besides their phytochemical content, the researchers also analyzed the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the total and fractionated essential oils of the different pine species.
  • In addition, they examined the volatile profiles of needles obtained from the pine trees.
  • After extracting the pine essential oils and their fractions, the researchers analyzed each using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
  • They identified 112 compounds from the essential oils and their fractions and observed the same trend with the needles’ volatile organic compound (VOC) content.
  • The researchers found that the antioxidant activities of the essential oils were lower than their respective fractions’.
  • The oils and their fractions also showed varying degrees of antibacterial activity against different microbial pathogens.
  • The compounds responsible for the oils’ biological properties were oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the essential oils of different pine species are rich in beneficial phytonutrients. Their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities appear to be regulated by reciprocal interactions among the different subclasses of phytochemicals they contain.

Journal Reference:

Kurti F, Giorgi A, Beretta G, Mustafa B, Gelmini F, Testa C, Angioletti S, Giupponi L, Zilio E, Pentimalli D, et al. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION, ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITIES OF ESSENTIAL OILS OF DIFFERENT PINUS SPECIES FROM KOSOVO. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 28 March 2019;31(4):263–275. DOI: 10.1080/10412905.2019.1584591