Curcuma longa L. rhizome essential oil is a valuable product in pharmaceutical industry due to its wide beneficial health effects. Novel applications in the agri-food industry where more sustainable extraction processes are required currently and safer substances are claimed for the consumer are being investigated. This review provides information regarding the conventional and recent extraction methods of C. longa rhizome oil, their characteristics and suitability to be applied at the industrial scale. In addition, variations in the chemical composition of C. longa rhizome and leaf essential oils regarding intrinsic and extrinsic factors and extraction methods are also analysed in order to select the most proper to obtain the most efficient activity. Finally, the potential applications of C. longa rhizome oil in the agri-food industry, such as antimicrobial, weedicide and a food preservative agent, are included. Regarding the data, C. longa rhizome essential oil may play a special role in the agri-food industry; however, further research to determine the application threshold so as not to damage crops or affect the organoleptic properties of food products, as well as efficient encapsulation techniques, are necessary for its implementation in global agriculture.
Keywords: Curcuma longa; agri-food industry; antimicrobial; antioxidant; chemical composition; essential oil; extraction methods; herbicidal.