Planta Med 2008; 74 - PD18
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1084693

Characterization of a cosmetic raw material „Tamanu Oil“ from French Polynesia: physical and chemical properties, chemical composition and bioactivity

T Leu 1, S Soulet 1, T Teai 1, A Gicquel 1, JP Bianchini 1, P Raharivelomanana 1
  • 1Laboratoire de Chimie des Substances Naturelles – Université de la Polynésie française, BP 6570 Faaa, 98702, French Polynesia

Calophyllum inophyllum (Clusiaceae), the sacred „Tamanu“ tree had been widely used in Polynesian traditional medicine for centuries. Tamanu oil, obtained from dried kernels, has been proven for its analgesic and cicatrising effects to cure dermal problems from small wounds (itch, scabies, craks or chaps) to more serious cuteanous problems such as atonic wounds, physical and chemical burns or radiodermatitis [1]. Those healing properties make „Tamanu oil“ an excellent raw material for cosmetics and it is so commercialized locally in French Polynesia and for exportation. The present study reports the characterization of French Polynesian „Tamanu oil“ regarding its physical, chemical, and biological properties. In that purpose, physical and chemical characteristics of „Tamanu oil“ had been determined following ISO or AFNOR experimental protocols. Fatty acid composition of lipidic content had been established by GC analysis of FAME and led to the identification of 10 main fatty acids including unsaturated major ones (oleic and linoleic acids). Headspace analysis had been carried out to determine the typical „walnut-like“ olfactive factor components which contained various function group compounds (hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, acids and heterocyclic compounds). Five major neoflavonoid compounds (calophyllolide, calophyllic acid, inophyllum B, inophyllum P and inophyllum C) of Tamanu oil had been detected and quantified by NPLC-MS as bioactive components [2]. Antimicrobial bioassays of Tamanu oil had been realized using Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger, and the obtained MIC values showed bacteriostatic effect of Tamanu oil. The compilation of „Tamanu oil“ physical and chemical characteristics as well as its bacteriostatic effect showed a very interesting quality oil for its use as cosmetic raw material and will facilitate its local and overseas trade.

References: 1. Pétard, P. (1986) Plantes utiles de Polynésie – Raau Tahiti. Haere Po no Tahiti. Papeete.

2. Charles, L. et al. (2005)J. Mass Spectrom, 40: 75–82.