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.
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