Identification of benzethonium chloride in commercial grapefruit seed extracts

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Jul;49(7):3316-20. doi: 10.1021/jf010222w.


Commercial grapefruit seed extracts (GSE) were extracted with chloroform. The solvent was evaporated, and the resulting solid was subsequently analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and elemental analysis (by proton-induced X-ray emission [PIXE] analysis). The main constituent was identified as benzethonium chloride, a synthetic antimicrobial agent commonly used in cosmetics and other topical applications. This compound comprised 8.03% (n = 2) of the liquid GSE sample. Higher amounts of benzethonium chloride were found in powder GSE samples.

MeSH terms

  • Benzethonium / isolation & purification*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission


  • Plant Extracts
  • Benzethonium