Colour and Odour

Cajuput oil is mainly a pale yellow mobile liquid sometimes with a greenish-bluish tint. Suggested reasons for this green-blue colouration include the presence of azulene compounds in the higher boiling fractions of the oil, distillation using copper materials, copper chelation with constituents like cajeputol (3,5-dimethyl-4,6-di-O-methylphloro-acetophenone) and the addition of suitable dyes to obtain the "correct" colour (Penfold and Morrison 1950;

Table 2 Physicochemical properties of cajuput oil

Properties

Commercial oil1

Commercial oil2

Crude oil3

Crude oil3

Specific gravity

0.917-0.930

0.915 to 0.926

0.919

0.922

(@15°C)

Optical rotation

up to -3°40'

—4°o' to -ro'

— 1D36'

— 0°54'

Retractive index

1.466 to 1.472

1.464 to 1.472

1.4703

1.467

(@20°C)

Solubility

Soluble in 1 vol.

Soluble in 1 vol.

Soluble in 1 vol.

Soluble in 1 vol.

and more of

and more of

and more of

and more of

80% alcohol

80% alcohol

80% alcohol

80% alcohol

xGildemeister and Hoffmann cited in Penfold and Morrison (1950). 2Guenther cited in Penfold and Morrison (1950), 3Penfold and Morrison (1950).

xGildemeister and Hoffmann cited in Penfold and Morrison (1950). 2Guenther cited in Penfold and Morrison (1950), 3Penfold and Morrison (1950).

Lowry 1973). Some cajuput oils with significant amounts of the eudesmols solidify after extraction to a whitish paste. The odour of commercial oil is rather penetrating with a camphoraceous-medicinal aroma, similar to but milder and more fruity than cineole-rich Eucalyptus oil (Lawless 1995).

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