Determination of Carvacrol Content in Alaska Yellow Cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) Extractives

Shahlinney Lipeh, Laurence R. Schimleck, Jeffrey J. Morrell


Extractives, such as carvacrol, play a major role in the durability of Alaska yellow cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) heartwood. However, it is a slow and complicated process to identify the levels of these compounds in individual timbers. This study investigated the feasibility of attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, coupled with hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA), for detecting carvacrol in wood. Alaska yellow cedar was extracted using sequential Soxhlet extraction with toluene-ethanol, followed by ethanol and hot water. The extracted samples were milled, and the powders were treated with different concentrations of carvacrol. The spectral analysis of the wood that contained carvacrol was conducted using ATR-FTIR and NIR spectroscopy, and the peaks indicative of carvacrol were identified. The chemometric analysis on the spectral data using PCA and HCA distinguished the wood with high (> 34%) and low (< 3.5%) carvacrol concentrations. The results suggest that infrared spectroscopy can be a non-destructive tool for the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of extractives, and possibly for the rapid assessment of Alaska yellow cedar durability.


Alaska yellow cedar; Heartwood; Durability; Carvacrol; Infrared spectroscopy; ATR-FTIR; NIR

Full Text:


Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126