Chemical composition of volatile extract and biological activities of volatile and less-volatile extracts of juniper berry (Juniperus drupacea L.) fruit.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jul 09; 56(13):5021-5.JA
Volatile chemicals in a dichloromethane extract from a steam distillate of juniper berry fruit (Juniperus drupacea L.) and its two column chromatographic fractions (eluted with hexane and ethyl ether) were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The major compounds in the dichloromethane extract were alpha-pinene (23.73%), thymol methyl ether (17.32%), and camphor (10.12%). A fraction eluted with hexane contained alpha-pinene (44.24%) as the major constituent. A fraction eluted with ethyl ether had thymol methyl ether (22.27%) and camphor (19.65%) as the main components. Three samples prepared from the distillate and two additional samples prepared by petroleum ether and ethanol extraction directly from juniper berry fruits exhibited clear antioxidant activities with dose response in both 1,2-diphenyl picrylhydrazyl and beta-carotene assays. All samples except the hexane fraction showed comparable activities to that of the synthetic antioxidant t-butyl hydroquinone at a level of 200 microg/mL in the two testing systems. The extracts of dichloromethane, petroleum ether, and ethanol exhibited appreciable antimicrobial activities against six microorganisms with minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.5 mg/mL (volatile extract against Candida albicans) to 1.2 mg/mL (ethanol extract against Aspergillus niger). The results of the present study suggest that this fruit could be a natural antioxidant supplement for foods and beverages.