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IUPAC name 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal
Other names citral
CAS number 5392-40-5
RTECS number RG5075000
Molecular formula C10H16O
Molar mass 152.24 g/mol
Appearance Pale yellow liquid
Odor Lemon like
Density 0.893 g/cm³, liquid
Boiling point

229 °C

NFPA 704
R-phrases R36, R37, R38
Flash point 91 °C
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Citral, or 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal or lemonal, is either of a pair of terpenoids with the molecular formula C10H16O. The two compounds are double bond isomers. The E-isomer is known as geranial or citral A. The Z-isomer is known as neral or citral B.

Geranial has a strong lemon odor. Neral has a lemon odor that is less intense, but sweeter. Citral is therefore an aroma compound used in perfumery for its citrus effect. Citral is also used as a flavor and for fortifying lemon oil. It also has strong anti-microbial qualities[1], and pheromonal effects in insects.[2][3]

Citral is used in the synthesis of vitamin A, ionone, and methylionone, and to mask the smell of smoke.

Citral is present in the oils of several plants, including lemon myrtle (90-95%), Litsea cubeba (70-85%), lemongrass (65-85%), Lemon verbena (30-35%), lemon balm, lemon and orange.[4]

Health & Safety information

Citral should be avoided by people with perfume allergy[5].

See also


  1. ^ Onawunmi, G.O. (1989) Evaluation of the antimicrobial acyivity of citral. Lett. Appl. Microbial. 9, 105-108.
  2. ^ Kuwahara, Y., Suzuki, H., Matsumoto, K. & Wada, Y. (1983) Pheromone study on acarid mites. XI. Function of mite body as geometrical isomerization and reduction of citral (the alarm pheromone) Carpoglyphus lactis. Appl. Entomol. Zool. 18, 30-39.
  3. ^ Robacker, D.C. & Hendry, L.B. (1977) Neral and geranial: components of the sex pheromone of the parasitic wasp, Itoplectis conquisitor, J. Chem. Ecol. 3, 563-577.
  4. ^ Lawless, J., The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, ISBN 1-85230-661-0
  5. ^ Survey and health assessment of chemical substances in massage oils
  • MSDS [1]
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Citral". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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