Chemistry and analysis of Santalum album
Materials Horizons: From Nature to Nanomaterials
School of Science
The chemistry of Sandalwood has been studied and reported for over a century; however, the chemical understanding of Sandalwood is ever expanding with technology and applications. Major and minor constituents of the Santalum album are discussed with reference to chemical identification. Major constituents are reoccurring in S. album heartwood independent of tree variabilities. Non-reoccurring minor compounds and their possible origin can be traced back to processing and distillation practices. Biosynthesis of Sandalwood follows an enzyme-dependant pathway, leading to the synthesis of unique sandalwood molecules. Chemical analysis of sandalwood involves the extraction of the oil by and distillation, solvent extraction or by more novel methods such as solid-phase microextraction. Analysis of sandalwood essential oil components is performed by gas chromatography equipped with a mass spectrometer or flame ionization detector; gas chromatography is the most widespread industrial and trade analysis method, which is also standardized by an international standards organization. Novel analytical methods such as high-performance thin-layer chromatography and solid-phase microextraction in combination with gas chromatography have been reported in analysing Sandalwood. This chapter is a review of current knowledge on sandalwood chemistry while also exposing future development opportunities.