Cistus ladanifer is a Mediterranean native plant from which valuable products, such as essential oil, are obtained. Manual harvesting of the plants in wild shrublands is usual during short periods of time. Their mechanised harvesting could increase the volume of harvested plants and prevent fires, further storage of the plants collected being necessary. The objective of this work is to study the influence of the storage period of mechanically harvested bales on the essential oil yield and qualitative composition. The harvesting trials were carried out with an adapted commercial harvester baler and the storage of the bales was performed indoors during 1–7 days, 15–30 days and 100–120 days. Afterwards, the bales were crushed (30 mm) and distilled in a 30 litre stainless steel still with saturated steam (0.5 bar). The essential oil components were identified by GC-MS and quantified by GC-FID. The storage of mechanically harvested Cistus ladanifer does not decrease the oil yield of steam distillation on a pilot scale. However, it leads to differences in the quantitative composition of the essential oils, decreasing the total monoterpene compounds content and increasing that of oxygenated sesquiterpenes, especially when the biomass is stored for 100–120 days, without affecting its qualitative composition.
Mediavilla, I., et al. (2021). “Influence of the Storage of Cistus ladanifer L. Bales from Mechanised Harvesting on the Essential Oil Yield and Qualitative Composition.” Molecules 26(8): 2379.