For thousands of years mint has enjoyed an honored place in pharmacopoeias and kitchen cupboards in India, China, Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Today the amount of essential oils produced from the four major mint species (cornmint, peppermint, Native spearmint, and Scotch spearmint) exceeds 23,000 metric tonnes annually with a market value of more than $400 million. This makes mint the most economically important essential oil.
Continuing in the esteemed tradition of the previous volumes in the Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Series, Mint: The Genus Mentha presents an in-depth look at the genus, providing information on its history, production, chemical constituents, market trends, and medicinal and nutritional uses. Beginning with a review of the correct taxonomy and proper distillation and extraction methods, the text then expands on many detailed and complex aspects of the cultivation, processing, and quality assessment of the different types of mint.
Outlining recent studies on the biosynthesis and biotechnology of improved potential for oil production, the text also includes theoretical aspects of distillation used to achieve efficient and cost effective oil isolation. Variations in chemical components in oils, even within a given species, by regional or environmental circumstance is the focus of a large portion of this book. The influence of these quantitative differences is explored in chapters on characterization, selection, and quality control methods including gas chromatographic profiles. The practice of ameliorating these variations with diluted or adulterated blends to produce a consistent product characteristic is also evaluated. The final portion of the book examines the role mint plays in the pharmaceutical, personal and oral care, aromatherapy, and flavor industries including confections, tobacco, and alcohol.
With extensive information from internationally known experts in their field, Mint: The Genus Mentha is an invaluable companion for all those actively engaged in the research, cultivation, marketing, or product development of mint.
Table of Contents
Mentha: An Overview of its Classification and Relationships, A. O. Tucker and R. F.C. Naczi
Anatomy, Physiology, Biosynthesis, Molecular Biology, Tissue Culture and Biotechnology of Mint Essential Oil Production, M. Maffei, C. M. Bertea, and M. Mucciarelli
Commercial Mint Species Grown in the United States, M. A. Morris
The Cultivation of Mints in India, S. Kumar, S. Pandey-Rai, and S. K. Rai
Production of Mint in China, W. Liu, and B. M. Lawrence
The Distillation of Mint Oils, E.F.K.Denny & B. M. Lawrence
The Composition of Commercially Important Mints, B. M. Lawrence
Oil Composition of the Other Mentha Species and Hybrids, B. M. Lawrence
World Production and Quality Control of Mint Oils and Their Commercially Important Isolates, R. M. Sheldon
Natural and Synthetic Menthol, R. Hopp & B. M. Lawrence
The Genuineness of Mint Oils, B. M. Lawrence
Biological and Toxicological Properties of Mint Oils and Their Major Isolates: Safety Assessment, J. R. Hayes, M. Stavanja, and B. M. Lawrence
Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils and Constituents of Mentha Species, S. G. Deans
Mentha: Economic Uses, A. O. Tucker
"This chapter does provide an excellent overview of the characters and states used taxonomically in the genus and includes extensive lists of synonymy and holotype repositories for the taxa accepted. … interesting account of the biochemistry and physiology of essential oil production and micropropagation techniques. The summary of micropropagation methods would be useful to those interested in commercial production. … you will find an impressive, well-referenced, page-by-page listing of the various substances that have been found in these plants. … there is plenty of information with numerous references provided."
— Don Les, University of Connecticut, Stoors in Plant Science Bulletin 54(1) 2008
"The volume, presenting an in-depth look at the genus, providing information on its history, production, chemical constituents, market trends, and medicinal and nutritional uses, is an invaluable resource for all those actively engaged in the research, cultivation, marketing, or product development of mint."
– Cinzia Silori, In Advances in Horticultural Science, 2008, No. 3