• Acetylcholinesterase inhibition;
  • Organic acids;
  • Piper betle;
  • Volatile compounds


Piper betle is a species growing in South East Asia, where its leaves are economically and medicinally important. To screen the highest possible number of volatile and semivolatile components, the leaves were subjected to headspace solid-phase microextraction, hydrodistillation and Soxhlet extraction, prior to analysis by GC/MS. Fifty compounds (identified by comparison with standard compounds or tentatively by National Institute of Standards and Technology database) were determined, 23 being described for the first time in this matrix. An aqueous extract was also analysed, in which only seven compounds were characterized. The organic acids' composition of this extract was determined by HPLC/UV and eight compounds are reported for the first time in P. betle. This extract also displayed acetylcholinesterase inhibitory capacity.