ARIADNA PETRONELA FILDAN, IOAN PET, DANIELA STOIN, GABRIEL BUJANCA, ALEXANDRA TEODORA LUKINICH-GRUIA, CALIN JIANU, ADELINA MARIA JIANU, MATILDA RADULESCU, DOINA ECATERINA TOFOLEAN ARTEMISIA DRACUNCULUS ESSENTIAL OIL CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES Free radical scavenging activity, total phenolic content and the chemical composition of the essential oil isolated by steam distillation from Artemisia dracunculus L. was investigated. The isolation yield was 0.24% (v/w) based on the fresh plant material (leaves). GC-MS investigation identified 21 components, accounting 99.93% of the total amount. The major components were sabinene (42.38%), isoelemicin (12.91%), methyl eugenol (9.09%), elemicin (7.95%) and beta-ocimene (6.46%). The free radical scavenging activity of the essential oil of Artemisia dracunculus L. was evaluated in vitro by the DPPH assay (IC50 = 0.730 ± 0.213 mg/mL), BHA and alpha-tocopherol were used as a positive control. The total phenolic content of the tarragon essential oil was evaluated by the Folin-Ciocalteu method (GAE = 0.451 ± 0.001 mg/g sample). In view of these data, we consider that tarragon essential oil could represent a new antioxidants source as a reliable option to reduce the usage of synthetic additives.