Pili Tree (Canarium ovatum) Resin's Antibacterial Essential Oil and Hydrosol as Rich Sources of (S)-Phellandrenes Derivatives

Chem Biodivers. 2020 Dec;17(12):e2000561. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.202000561. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Five batches of resin from the Pili tree (Canarium ovatum Engl.) were distilled, and their essential oils and hydrosols were analyzed by gas chromatography. The oils, obtained in yields of 13.4-19.7 % v/m, featured α-phellandrene in high proportions (50-65 %), alongside limonene, β-phellandrene and para-cymene. Chiral GC analysis confirmed that both phellandrenes were in fact >95 % (S)-(+) enantiomers, while the other monoterpenes featured less pronounced enantiomeric excesses. The hydrosols were rich in α-phellandrene oxidation products including cis-α-phellandrene epoxide and a series of para-menth-5-ene-1,2-diol isomers. Both essential oils and hydrosols were tested for their antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus and exhibited MIC90 of less than 5 and 0.5 mg/mL of total volatiles, respectively. The essential oil features some potential as a source of readily available natural (S)-(+)-α-phellandrene.

Keywords: Canarium ovatum; antibacterial activity; chirality; essential oil and hydrosol; gas chromatography.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Burseraceae / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, Gas / methods
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Resins, Plant / chemistry*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Resins, Plant