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Light impact assessment in planting and production of Curcuma longa in the Amazon, based on the analysis of its essential oils from leaves and rhizomes


Curcuma longa L. produces rhizomes traditionally sold on the international market as "Turmeric". It is a shrub from Asia, extensively cultivated in India, China, Japan and Indonesia. In Brazil, it is known as "Cúrcuma" or "Açafrão" and mainly used for food. The aim of this study was to evaluate the plant growth, depending on the incidence of light on an experimental cultivation in the region of Lower Amazon River, city of Santarém, based on the analysis of the essential oils from leaves and rhizomes. The plants obtained in treatment T1 (growing 50% shading), after completing the growth cycle, have showed better quality of rhizomes than in the treatment T2 (full sun cultivation). The results are reflected in the productivity of plants of the T1 treatment (fresh rhizomes = 14.86 ± 0:20 tonnes/ha), which was higher than T2 treatment (fresh rhizomes = 3.97 ± 1.5 tonns/ha). The yield of oil was 200% higher in young leaves (3.19%) than in mature leaves (1.71%). In the rhizomes, the oil yield was greater in the treatment at full sunlight (T2, 3.00%) than in treatment with shading 50% (T1, 1.90%). The main constituents of the oil from young and mature leaves were the monoterpenes, α-phellandrene (33.6% and 26.2%), terpinolene (22.0% and 18.3%), 1,8-cineole (16.0% and 15.8%), p-cymene (3.8% and 9.8%), and β-pinene (4.9% and 7.2%). In the oils of rhizomes were the sesquiterpene ketones, turmerone (T1, 37.5%; T2, 38.5%), curlone (T1, 17.4%; T2, 30.4%), and ar-turmerone (T1, 9.3%; T2, 8.8%).

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