l-menthol has been widely used in flavour, food and pharmaceuticals. Because of its high volatility and whisker growth, l-menthol-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex was produced to improve shelf-life, provide protection, and enhance the stability of l-menthol. The inclusion complex was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction. The results show that l-menthol was successfully encapsulated in hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin. l-menthol loading capacity is about 8.44%. Geometries and binding energies of l-menthol-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin inclusion complexes were investigated using molecular mechanics calculations. The shape and orientation of the most stable complex, and the minimum binding energy were determined. L-menthol release from complex was determined by thermogravimetric analysis. Two l-menthol release rate peaks were observed at 69.3 and 279.1°C. The l-menthol release reaction order, release activation energy and the preexponential factor were obtained.
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