Citronellal is a lemon- fragranced aldehyde that is acquired from the Citronella oil. Its molecular formula is C10H18O and it is also referred by other names such as rhodinol, b-citronellal, citronella and 3,7-Dimethyl 6-octenal. It is a monoterpenoid that imparts the lemon smell in Citronella oil.
It is purely extracted from the distilled oils of the plants Cymbopogon, lemon-scented gum and lemon-scented tea tree. It is mainly obtained by the steam distillation of the fresh leaves of Cymbopogon nardus Linn.
It is also one of the main constituents present in the essential oils of citronella grass, citrus, lemon, roses, grapes, tomatoes, nutmeg and lemon eucalyptus. It constitutes 80% of the essential oil in Kaffir lime leaves and it imparts the characteristic lime odor to these leaves.
Attributes of Citronellal:
Citronellal is a colorless to a pale yellow fragrant liquid. It has strong lemon citronella smell. It is responsible for the characteristic lemon smell in the essential oils constituting it. So it is mainly used in flavoring and in perfumery to render the typical lemon-grass like aroma.
Trusted mosquito repellent:
Citronellal is an effective mosquito repellent because of its intense lemon aroma. It is effective against mosquitoes at short distances. When it is combined with β-cyclodextrin, it provides 1.5 hour protection against mosquitoes.
Therapeutic uses of Citronellal:
Citronellal serves as an anti-microbial, antiviral and an anti-cancer agent. Citronellal contributes to the tranquilizing effect in the oils of Lavender, Valerian, Calamus and Melissa and is a vital part of Aromatherapy.
Physico Chemical Properties: