Monoterpenes exude aromatic aromas and are major components of essential oils such as citrus oils, fennel oil, peppermint oil or caraway seed oil. From the monoterpenes, limonene is the one found most frequently in plant based foods. It is especially found in the skins (zest) of oranges, grapefruits and lemons. Monoterpenes are used as flavouring substances in the food industry for enhancing flavours in drinks, baked goods and desserts.

Possible effect

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Antibiotic (meaning, they inhibit the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi)

May reduce the risk of:

  • Certain cancer diseases such as prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer.

Found in:

In lemons and oranges (both in skins (zest) and juices), caraway seeds, ginger, grapes, apricots, mint, celery leaves and spices.

It should be noted that:

Monoterpenes are very sensitive to light and oxygen. Therefore, essential oils should be protected from light.


Recommendations for daily requirements have not yet been scientifically determined.

Phytochemicals should not be taken as isolated in tablets because this may cause undesirable side effects. The numerous other ingredients in food are most likely essential, in order that they can exert healthy effects on the body.