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Essential Oil of Betel Leaf (Piper betle L.): A Novel Addition to the World Food Sector

  • Proshanta GuhaEmail author
  • Sujosh Nandi
Chapter

Abstract

Betel leaf grows on a perennial vine (Piper betle L.). It is consumed in fresh and raw state for digestive, refreshing, stimulating, aphrodisiac, etc. effects by about two billion people. These beneficial effects, taste, and aroma are mainly contributed by the essential oil present in the leaves. This oil can be extracted from the leaves by various methods, but the betel leaf oil extractor is an efficient and economic option. The oil yield may range from 0.09% to 1.0% (wb) depending upon variety, extraction method, pretreatment, curing, agro-climatic conditions, etc. Betel oil is constituted by about 30–60 compounds which include eugenol, isoeugenol, methyl eugenol, safrole, chavicol, hydroxychavicol, chavibetol, anethole, estragole, germecrene-D, etc. The oil possesses good antioxidant and antimicrobial properties at a very low concentration (>0.20 μl/ml), and the susceptible microorganisms include gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and fungi, such as Aspergillus, Candida, Escherichia, Penicillium, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Vibrio, etc. species. The oil can be utilized as an excellent food preservative and organoleptic enhancer. It may also provide multiple health benefits. Some food products have been developed by incorporating this oil ranging from 0.005% to 0.50%, such as cupcake, chocolate, biscuit, suji halwa, lozenge, etc. This oil has a potential future in the world food sector.

Keywords

Piper betle Essential oil Economics Extraction Uses Composition Properties Bioactivity Mechanisms Food products 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the present and the former Directors of IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarty and Prof. Sishir Kumar Dubey, respectively, for kind encouragement, funds, and facilities for this work. They are also highly grateful to Prof. V. K. Tewari, and Prof. N. Mallick, former and current Heads of the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, India. Thanks are also due to Prof. P. P. Srivastav, Prof. S. L. Shrivastava, Prof. K. N. Tiwari, and Prof. Rintu Banerjee of the same department. Thanks are also due to Mr. Arnab Roy, Ms. Mitali Madhumita, and Mr. Jagan S. Karthik, the research scholars working with the senior author, and to Mr. Anas Ejaz Shaikh (M. Tech. student of the same department) for their help in preparation of this manuscript. The authors are grateful to Dr. Yoshisuke Kishida, President and Editor in Chief of the journal, Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and also to the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Human Ecology, New Delhi, for providing permission to reproduce small portions from the previously published papers contributed by the senior author. The authors are also grateful to Dr. P. C. Singh, NBRI, Lucknow, India for providing literature on anticancer plants. The authors are also grateful to Prof. Sonia Malik, Federal University of Maranhão, Sao Luis, Brazil, for her encouragement without which this work would have not seen the light of the day. The second author is grateful to his family members for providing continuous support. The last but not the least, the senior author is grateful to his better half, Srimati Chhaya Guha, for her constant inspiration, encouragement, and sacrifice.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural and Food Engineering DepartmentIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

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