The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences, Vol 12 No 2 (2008): 338 - 340







Nor Azah M.A, Chang Y.S.,  Mailina J., Abu Said A ,  Abd. Majid  J.  Saidatul Husni  S.,

Nor Hasnida  H. and Nik Yasmin Y.


Forest Biotechnology Division, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, 52109

 Kepong, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia



Gaharu (agarwood)  is a fragrant wood that is usually derived from the diseased timber of the genus Aquilaria (Thymelaeceae) and often occurs as dark coloured patches or streaks in the tree. Due to its strong, unique scent and medicinal properties, gaharu oil is greatly valued as perfumery ingredient and incense. Gaharu may be  classified into various grades; Grade A, B, C and D and they are often graded according to the physical properties, gaharu formation and its unique scent. The lower grades such as Grade C are often distilled to obtain  gaharu oils. As part of an on-going research on the chemical profiling of some Malaysian gaharu oils and evaluation of their potential beneficial properties; gaharu oils obtained from different sources were analysed and compared by GC and GC-MS.  Identification of the chemical components was based on comparison of calculated retention indices and mass spectral data with literature values. Examination of the oils showed some variations and differences in terms of GC profiles, concentration and chemical components. Majority of the essential oil profiles were complex and made up of sesquiterpenoids and their oxygenated derivatives. However, common occurrences of chemical compounds such as 3-phenyl-butanone, a-guaiene, β-agarofuran, a-agarofuran, agarospirol and jinkoh-eremol were detected.


Keywords:  Gaharu, essential oil, chemical analysis



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