Post-harvest management

Drying: The lemongrass has been allowed to wilt for 24 hours before the distillation as it reduces the moisture content by 30% and improves oil yield. The lemon crop is chopped into small pieces before filling in the stills. It can be distilled in similar distilleries as used for Japanese mint in India.

Plant Samples

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus) leaves were collected from plants. The lemongrass plant sample was freshly cut, 10cm from the root, in the morning of the day they were collected. Lemongrass, the percentage essential oil yield for the partially dried leaves was established to be higher than that of the fresh leaves. Thus, once collected, the plant material was dried at room temperature for a maximum four days, then kept in a sealed plastic bag at ambient temperature and protected from the light.

Extraction yield increase by decreasing the particle size due to the higher amount of lemongrass oil released as the leave cells are destroyed by milling. In order to develop the collection efficiency, the plant material was soaked in its distilled water for 30min before the extraction performed.  N-hexane was used as analytical grade reagent in this process.

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