CITRAL Natural, Attractive active ingredient in life and industry

25/03/2024 vipsen

1. Overview of Citral.

The active ingredient Citral, C10H16O, is a naturally occurring monoterpene compound found in many plants, including citrus, lemongrass, and Litsea Cubeba. This active ingredient is also known as geranial or neral or geranialdehyde.

Chemical formula: C10H16O

CAS: 5392-40-5

Molecular mass 152.237 g/mol

Melting point: 44°C (111°F)

Boiling point: 228°C (442°F)

Specific gravity: 0.851

Solubility in water: 0.2 g/L

Solubility in ethanol: 60 g/L

Citral exists as two double bond isomers. The E isomer is called geranial or citral A. The Z isomer is called neral or citral B. Geranial has a strong lemon flavor. Neral has a lighter and sweeter flavor. When separated, Citral is a colorless or light yellow liquid with a strong lemon odor. Citral is insoluble in water, soluble in ethanol, ether, propylene glycol, glycerin, mineral oil and other organic solvents.

The relative density is 0.891 (25/25 degrees), and the boiling point is 228-229 degrees.

Citral is mainly obtained from essential oils and can also be prepared by oxidizing geraniol and nerol.

2. Natural active ingredient Citral

In Vietnam, Citral is present in a number of plant essential oils, including: tangerine (70-85%), lemongrass (65-85%), lemon verbena (30-35%), lemon balm ( 11%), green lemon (6-9%), yellow lemon (2-5%)…

3. Citral production method.

Fractional distillation is one of the traditional methods used to separate volatile substances from a mixture based on the difference in boiling point of those substances. Distillation can be performed at atmospheric pressure or reduced pressure. Fractional distillation is performed with equipment equipped with fractionation columns and is often connected to a vacuum pump to reduce the distillation temperature and avoid affecting temperature-sensitive substances. Temperature and pressure are monitored during the distillation process.

Citral is extracted from Litsea Cubeba Oil or Lemon Grass Oil by fractional distillation with a pure Citral content of up to 99%.

Citral after fractional distillation is a yellow to dark yellow liquid with a strong lemon odor.

Density at 20 degrees Celsius: 0.880 – 0.895

Refractive index at 20 degrees Celsius: 1.485 – 1.495

Distillation equipment at VIPSEN factory

4. Applications of the active ingredient Citral

4.1 Flavorings

Citral is a common flavoring agent in foods and beverages. It is used to create a lemon-like flavor to candy, baked goods, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages.

4.2 Fragrance substances

Citral is also used as a fragrance ingredient in perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, detergents, etc. It has a fresh, clean, and uplifting scent often associated with cleanliness and happiness.

4.3 Insect repellent

Citral has been shown to be an effective insect repellant against mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. This is a safer and more natural alternative to synthetic insect repellents.

4.4 Cosmetics

Citral has antibacterial properties that can help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. It is sometimes used as a natural preservative in foods and cosmetics.

It is said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and skin whitening properties. Pimples, folliculitis, melasma, dark skin… can all be treated with cosmetics containing the active ingredient Citral.

4.5 Pharmaceuticals

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used to produce vitamins A and E, and it is also the raw material of chlorophyll. Citral is also being studied for its potential use as a pharmaceutical ingredient.  Citral is very good for treating colds, healing wounds, warming, relieving pain and making the body healthier.

5. Recommendations when using the active ingredient Citral

Citral is generally considered safe for human consumption and use. However, it can cause skin irritation, so it is important to avoid direct skin contact. Citral is also a potential allergen, so people who are allergic to citrus fruits or other plants and fragrances may be allergic to citral.

Lisea Cubeba oil in HDPE cans prepared for export

6. VIPSEN is a manufacturer of natural essential oils containing Citral in Vietnam.

VIPSEN is one of the leading researchers and producers of natural essential oils in Vietnam. Essential oil products are produced using advanced methods, achieving high quality with 100% natural ingredients, without additives or mixtures.

Essential oil products containing a lot of Citral such as Litsea Cubeba essential oil, lemongrass, lemon, orange… are produced by VIPSEN from selected raw materials, from famous raw material growing areas in Vietnam. The production process from planting and harvesting raw materials to producing and preserving finished products is always closely monitored by a team of experienced experts and technicians. VIPSEN’s essential oil products are not only popular in Vietnam but are also exported to many countries around the world.

For further information, please contact:

Phone number/Whatsapp/Zalo/Wechat: +84 868 855 086


Address: D7-TT9, Forosa street, Xuan Phuong new urban area, Xuan Phuong, Nam Tu Liem, Hanoi

Factory address: Bai Dai, Tien Xuan, Thach That, Hanoi.

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