Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Using wastewater to enhance mint production

04.03.2011
Plant distillation waste can increase yields, essential oil content in peppermint, spearmint

When essential oils are extracted from plants through the process of steam distillation, wastewater is produced and subsequently released into rivers and streams.

Finding new uses for these unused by-products could benefit essential oil crop growers and processors as well as the environment. A team of researchers has found that the residual distillation water of some aromatic plant species has a beneficial effect on yields and can increase essential oil content of peppermint and spearmint crops.

Peppermint and spearmint are commercially produced for their essential oils, dry leaves used in herbal teas, and as fresh culinary herbs. Essential oils from both mints are widely used in the production of chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwashes, confectionaries, pharmaceuticals, and aromatherapy products. New methods of improving yield and essential oil content in peppermint and spearmint crops could produce economic benefits for large-scale production operations and create more environmentally sustainable systems.

One previous study of plant distillation wastewater found that wastewater from sage, thyme, and rosemary contained antioxidants and could be used as an ingredient in marinades for turkey meat. "We hypothesized that residual distillation water could have an effect on peppermint and spearmint plants when used as a foliar spray", said Mississippi State University professor Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, corresponding author of a study that tested plant hormones and distillation wastewater on peppermint and spearmint plants.

Zheljazkov and colleagues reported on their collaborative research in HortScience. The team evaluated the effects of three plant hormones (methyl jasmonate, gibberellic acid, and salicylic acid) at three concentrations and the residual distillation water from 15 plant species applied as foliar sprays on biomass yields, essential oil content, and essential oil yield of peppermint (Mentha x piperita 'Black Mitcham') and spearmint (Mentha spicata 'Native').

The application of salicylic acid at 1000 mg/L increased biomass yields of both species. Methyl jasmonate at 100 and 1000 mg/L, gibberellic acid at 10 mg/L, salicylic acid at 10 or 100 mg/L, and distillation water of seven plant species all increased the essential oil content of peppermint, whereas the oil content of spearmint was increased only by distillation water of one plant species.

"The study demonstrated that the residual distillation water of some aromatic plant species may have an effect on crop species and may be used as a tool for increasing essential oil content or essential oil yields of peppermint and spearmint crops. Further research is needed to elucidate the effect of these treatments on essential oil composition and to verify the effects under field conditions", said Zheljazkov.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/45/9/1338

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org

Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ashs.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>