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A status review of terpenes and their separation methods

Ghada Ben Salha, Manef Abderrabba and Jalel Labidi


Terpenes or terpenoids are extracted or steam distilled for the recovery of the essential oils of specific fragrant plants. These steam distillates are used to create fine perfumes, to refine the flavor and the aroma of food and drinks, and to produce medicines from plants (phytopharmaca). In recent years, consumers have developed an increasing interest in natural products, as most of these terpenoids have been identified as high value chemicals in food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and industrial crops. Extensive chemical techniques and biological tests have led to the identification, biological characterization, and extraction of major components that are of wide interest, especially to the cosmetic and industrial recovery of selective terpenes. The current status of the knowledge of their general structure, functions, and bioactive properties and the methods for their separation are covered in this review.


The authors are grateful for the financial support received from the University of Tunis El Manar (Grant No.: Mobility Grant), the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Grant No.: Grant of Ms. Ben Salha), and the Department of Education of the Basque Government (project IT1008-16).


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Received: 2018-09-18
Accepted: 2019-06-04
Published Online: 2019-07-12
Published in Print: 2021-04-27

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