Peppermint antioxidants revisited

Food Chem. 2015 Jun 1;176:72-81. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.12.028. Epub 2014 Dec 17.


This review discusses the relationship between the chemical composition and antioxidant property of peppermint tisane and essential oil. Phenolic acids (e.g. rosmarinic and caffeic acids), flavones (e.g. luteolin derivatives) and flavanones (e.g. eriocitrin derivatives) are possibly the major infusion antioxidants. Vitamin antioxidants (e.g. ascorbic acid and carotenoids) are minor contributors to the overall antioxidant potential. Unsaturated terpenes having a cyclohexadiene structure (e.g. terpinene) and minor cyclic oxygenated terpenes (e.g. thymol), may contribute to antioxidant potential whilst acyclic unsaturated oxygenated monoterpenes (e.g. linalool) may act as pro-oxidants in essential oil. Findings on the antioxidant potential of major cyclic oxygenated terpenes (menthol and menthone) are conflicting. Antioxidant behaviour of aqueous/organic solvent extracts and essential oil as well as the effect of environmental stresses on essential oil and phenolic composition are briefly discussed.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Essential oil; Infusion; Peppermint; Phenolics; Terpenes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry*
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Terpenes


  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Terpenes