Recent concerns about the potential carcinogenicity of estragole necessitate accurate determination of estragole in different products and extracts. Accurate and simple method for the determination of estragole in pharmaceutical products, herbal teas and herbal extracts was developed using GC-FID technique and p-anisaldehyde as an internal standard. Target analyte was extracted from different matrices by applying various extraction procedures such as hydro-distillation and ultrasound-assisted extraction. The hydro-distillation technique provided higher amounts of extracted estragole compared to ultrasound-assisted extrcation.
Estragole was identified in Fennel extracts by GC-MS. The calibration curve showed excellent linearity over a concentration range of 0.110 mg/ml with a correlation coefficient of 0.9997. Estragole levels were accurately measured in Fennel fruits, Chinese and Japanese Star Anise, Sekem® teabags for cough, Baby Calm® teabags, Balsam®, Guava® syrup for cough and Aqua ream® syrup for diarrhea. Accurate concentrations of estagole should replace the non-specific label information found on most of the tested products
Key words: estragole, fennel, star anise, hydro-distillation, teabags and pharmaceutical products