Characterisation of sandalwood essential oils:The application of high performance thin-layer chromatography

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Essential Oil Research




Taylor and Francis


Centre for Ecosystem Management / School of Science / Centre for Integrative Metabolomics and Computational Biology




Ofori, H., Hettiarachchi, D., Sostaric, T., Pandohee, J., Chudasama, H. D., & Boyce, M. C. (2021). Characterisation of sandalwood essential oils: The application of high performance thin-layer chromatography. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 33(1), 32-43.


© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The potential of HPTLC to characterise the essential oils of four sandalwood species was explored for Santalum album, Santalum spicatum, Santalum austrocaledonicum, and Santalum paniculatum. The variation in sandalwood oils for each species was documented and High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) band and peak intensity profiles of mix of oils were used to generate a more representative profile. The individual oils of S. album and the pooled sample were quite similar, indicating that this pooled sample represents the oil. The pooled oil sample for S. paniculatum captured the variation observed for the individual oils. However, the band profiles from pooled samples of S. spicatum and S. austrocaledonicum did not always capture the complexity and unique aspects of the individual oils. For all oils analysed, the S. spicatum oils were correctly identified due to a unique pink band at RF 0.71 and distinctive peaks at RF 0.28, 0.45 and 0.47. The HPTLC band and peak profiles of S. album and S. paniculatum oils could easily be distinguished from each other with distinctive peaks at RF 0.51 and 0.17, respectively.



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