Lamiaceae - syn. Majorana hortensis Moench, Majorana majorana (L.) H. Karst; marjoram, sweet marjoram, Majoran

Perennial herb, native to Asia Minor, naturalized in southern Europe; stems up to 80 cm high; leaves opposite, ovate; flowers purple.

Sabinene and sabinene acetat, present in the leaves, undergo „a multitude of rearrangements“, as shown also by steam distillation of Juniperus sabina leaves.
„Experiments with triturations of leaf material under liquid nitrogen, extractions with supercritical carbon dioxide and direct injections of the oil of individual secretory cells demonstrated that cis-sabinene hydrate and its acetate represent the original flavour compounds in the intact leaf. The great number of monoterpenes described in marjoram essential oils therefore appear to be artefacts, arising from a multitude of rearrangement, hydration and deprotonation reactions from cis-sabinene hydrate acetate and from an activated precursor form, that possesses the sabinene hydrate skeleton.“
[Fischer, N., Nitz, S. and Drawert, F. (1987), Original flavour compounds and the essential oil composition of marjoram (Majorana hortensis moench). Flavour Fragr. J., 2: 55-61]

„The quantitative composition of the essential oil of Origanum majorana L. grown in Greece is reported. A total of 45 compounds were identified by means of gas liquid chromatography and GC-MS analysis. The most prominent component was 4-terpineol (37%)…“
[Composition of the essential oil of marjoram (Origanum majorana L.), M.E. Komaitis, Food Chemistry, Vol.45 (2) 1992, 117-118]

„Water-distilled essential oils of Origanum majorana L. collected from two localities in Turkey were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Carvacrol (78.27-79.46%) was found to be the major component in both oils.“
[Composition of the Essential Oil of Origanum majorana L. from Turkey. K. H.C. Baser, N. Kirimer, G. Tümen, Journal of Essential Oil Research, Volume 5, Issue 5, 1993]

„… water-distilled essential oil of marjoram (Origanum majorana L.) grown in Reunion Island located in Indian Ocean … 45 compounds recorded by gas chromatography, GC-MS and GC-FTIR 43 components were identified. The essential oil was found to be rich in terpinen-4-ol (38.4%), cis-sabinene hydrate (15.0%), p-cymene (7.0%) and γ-terpinene (6.9%).“
[Chemical composition of the essential oil of marjoram (Origanum majorana L.) from Reunion Island. R.R. Vera, J. Chane-Ming, Food Chemistry, Vol. 66 (2) 1999, 143-145]

„The essential oils obtained by steam distillation of Origanum compactum and O. majorana, which were grown in Morocco, were examined by gas chromatography to determine their major constituents. The major constitutents of O. compactum were carvacrol (49.52%), p-cymene (21.22%) and γ-terpinene (14.21%), while the major constituents of the O. majorana were linalool (32.68%) and terpinen-4-ol (32.30%).“
[Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activities of Two Aromatic Plants: Origanum majorana L. and O. compactum Benth. Malika Charai, Mahjouba Mosaddak, M. Faid, Journal of Essential Oil Research, Vol.8 (6) 1996, 657-664]

„Water-distilled volatiles of marjoram (Origanum majorana L.) grown in Cuba were analyzed by GC/MS. Among the 41 compounds identified, terpinen-4-ol (17.67%), linalool (16.41%) and thymol (11.55%) were the major constituents.“
[Essential Oil of Majoram (Origanum majorana L.) Grown in Cuba. Jorge A. Pino, Aristides Rosado, Mirna Estarrón, Victor Fuentes, Journal of Essential Oil Research, Vol.9 (4) 1997, 479-480]

„Flowering part of Origanum majorana L. was collected from National Botanical Garden of Iran in August 1999 and steam distilled to produce an oil in 0.3% yield (based on dry flowers). The oil was analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Twenty-four compounds were identified among which linalyl acetate (26.1%) and sabinene (12.0%) were the major constituents.“
[Essential Oil Composition of Origanum majorana L. from Iran. Journal of Essential Oil Research, M. M. Barazandeh, Vol.13 (2) 2001, 76-77]

„Both compounds, cis-sabinene hydrate, and cis-sabinene hydrate acetate, are responsible for the special 'marjoramy' flavor of marjoram, while trans-sabinene hydrate's scent is described as mouldy or herbaceous, sweet, potato-like… both isomers of sabinene hydrate, trans- and cis-sabinene hydrate, are produced in the fixed ratio of 1:10 by this single enzyme, the sabinene hydrate synthase [from GPP].“
[Distribution of the cis-sabinene hydrate acetate-chemotype in accessions of marjoram (Origanum majorana L.)., Novak, J., Bitsch, C., Pank, F., Langbehn, J., Franz, C.M., Euphytica, 127(1), 2002, 69-74]

cis-sabinene hydrate
cis-sabinene hydrate
cis-sabinene hydrate acetate
cis-sabinene hydrate acetate

As rotundone concentration has been found 208 μg/kg in marjoram (a thousand times above its aroma detection threshold), this compound with its distinct peppery scent contributes significant to the flavour of the spice.
[Wood, C., Siebert, T. E., Parker, M., Capone, D. L., Elsey, G. M., Pollnitz, A. P., Herderich, M. J. (2008). Spice up your life-The Rotundone story. Expression of Multideisciplinary flavour science, Proceedings of the 12th Weurman Symposium.]

„Individual plants grown in a greenhouse from seeds of a natural population of sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana L.) from Cyprus were analyzed for their essential oil composition. Three chemotypes were detected in the population. Besides the standard ‘marjoramy’ composition (‘sabinyl chemotype’) with 74% of oil compounds belonging to the bicyclic compounds sabinene, trans- and cis-sabinene hydrate and cis-sabinene hydrate acetate (‘sabinyl compounds’), two further chemotypes were present in the population, namely a pure α-terpineol chemotype (73% α-terpineol) and a mixed sabinyl/α-terpineol chemotype (41% sabinyl compounds, 40% α-terpineol). The chemotype frequencies found in this population were 56% of the plants belonging to the sabinyl chemotype, 4% to the pure α-terpineol chemotype and 40% to the mixed sabinyl/α-terpineol chemotype.“
[The essential oil composition of wild growing sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana L., Lamiaceae) from Cyprus-three chemotypes., Novak, J., Lukas, B., Franz, C. M., Journal of Essential Oil Research, Vol.20(4), 2008, 339-341]

Woodville,W., Medical botany, vol.3 t.165 (1792)

Origanum majorana
© Rolf Marschner (2008),

origanum_majorana_l.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2018/10/17 14:46 von andreas