Get Citral essential facts below. View Videos or join the Citral discussion. Add Citral to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Skeletal formula of geranial
Ball-and-stick model of the geranial molecule
Skeletal formula of neral
Ball-and-stick model of the neral molecule
IUPAC name
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.023.994
RTECS number
  • RG5075000
Molar mass 152.24 g/mol
Appearance Pale yellow liquid
Odor Lemon like
Density 0.893 g/cm3
Boiling point 229 °C (444 °F; 502 K)
Vapor pressure 0.22mmHg (20°C)
-98.9×10-6 cm3/mol
R-phrases (outdated) R36, R37, R38
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g. canola oilHealth code 0: Exposure under fire conditions would offer no hazard beyond that of ordinary combustible material. E.g. sodium chlorideReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 91 °C (196 °F; 364 K)
Related compounds
Related alkenals
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
?Y verify (what is ?Y?N ?)
Infobox references

Citral, or 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal or lemonal, is either a pair, or a mixture 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.


Citral is present in the oils of several plants, including lemon myrtle (90-98%), Litsea citrata (90%), Litsea cubeba (70-85%), lemongrass (65-85%), lemon tea-tree (70-80%), Ocimum gratissimum (66.5%), Lindera citriodora (about 65%), Calypranthes parriculata (about 62%), petitgrain (36%), lemon verbena (30-35%), lemon ironbark (26%), lemon balm (11%), lime (6-9%), lemon (2-5%), and orange.[2][3][4]


Citral has a strong lemon (citrus) odor. Neral's lemon odor 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 antimicrobial qualities,[5] and pheromonal effects in acari and insects.[6][7]

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

Health and safety information

Two studies showed 1-1.7% of people to be allergic to citral, with allergies frequently reported.[] Citral on its own is strongly sensitizing to allergies; the International Fragrance Association recommends that citral only be used in association with substances that prevent a sensitizing effect.[] Citral has been extensively tested, with no known genotoxicity or carcinogenic effect.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Citral, The Merck Index, 12th Edition.
  2. ^ Fenaroli, G., Furia, T.E., Bellanca, N., Handbook of Flavor Ingredients, ISBN 0-87819-532-7
  3. ^ Lawless, J., The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, ISBN 1-85230-661-0
  4. ^ The Aromatic Plant Project
  5. ^ Onawunmi, G.O. (1989). "Evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of citral". Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 9 (3): 105-108. doi:10.1111/j.1472-765X.1989.tb00301.x.
  6. ^ Kuwahara, Yasumasa; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Matsumoto, Katsuhiko; Wada, Yoshitake (1983). "Pheromone study on acarid mites. XI. Function of mite body as geometrical isomerization and reduction of citral (the alarm pheromone)". Applied Entomology and Zoology. 18 (1): 30-39. doi:10.1303/aez.18.30.
  7. ^ 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 (5): 563-577. doi:10.1007/BF00989077.
  8. ^ Survey and health assessment of chemical substances in massage oils Archived 28 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes