A chemical study of the volatile components obtained by applying the hydrodistillation and reflux processes to Pentadiplandra brazzeana roots was performed by GC-FID and GC-MS. The hydrodistillation process showed a total yield of 0.97% with 0.11% of essential oil and 0.86% of volatile compounds from the aqueous reaction medium; in the reflux process, the volatile extract yield was 1.03%. Benzylic-type isothiocyanates were the major degradation products of glucosinolates in the essential oil (95.0%); the CH2Cl2 extracts obtained from the aqueous solutions were characterised by alcohols and amines in both processes. This study has shown that during hydrodistillation, only 10% of the glucosinolate degradation products are recovered in the essential oil whereas 90% remain in the aqueous medium, being converted into alcohols and amines. The relative percentages of the different chemical classes recovered in our experimental conditions are discussed in relation with the glucosinolate composition in the raw material.
Keywords: GC-FID, GC-MS; essential oil; hydrodistillation; isothiocyanate; reflux process; volatile extract.