The Citrus reticulata essential oil: evaluation of antifungal activity against penicillium species related to bakery products spoilage
Keywords:Citrus reticulata, volatile compound, DPPH assay, antifungal properties, bread
Fungal food spoilage plays a key role in the deterioration of food products, and finding a suitable natural preservative can solve this problem. Therefore, antifungal activity of green mandarin (Citrus reticulata) essential oil (GMEO) in the vapor phase against the growth of Penicillium (P.) expansum and P. chrysogenum inoculated on wheat bread (in situ experiment) was investigated in the current research. The volatile compounds of the GMEO were analyzed by a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer (GC–MS), and its antioxidant activity was determined by testing free radical-scavenging capacity (DPPH assay). Moreover, the disc diffusion method was used to analyze the antifungal activity of GMEO in in vitro conditions. The results demonstrate that the Citrus reticulata EO consisted of α-limonene as the most abundant component (71.5%), followed by γ-terpinene (13.9%), and β-pinene (3.5%), and it displayed the weak antioxidant activity with the value of inhibition 5.6 ±0.7%, which corresponds to 103.0 ±6.4 µg TEAC.mL-1. The findings from the GMEO antifungal activity determination revealed that values for the inhibition zone with disc diffusion method ranged from 0.00 ±0.00 (no antifungal effectiveness) to 5.67 ±0.58 mm (moderate antifungal activity). Finally, exposure of Penicillium strains growing on bread to GMEO in vapor phase led to the finding that 250 μL.L-1 of GMEO exhibited the lowest value for mycelial growth inhibition (MGI) of P. expansum (-51.37 ±3.01%) whose negative value reflects even supportive effect of the EO on the microscopic fungus growth. On the other hand, GMEO at this concentration (250 μL.L-1) resulted in the strongest inhibitory action (MGI: 54.15 ±1.15%) against growth of P. chrysogenum. Based on the findings it can be concluded that GMEO in the vapor phase is not an effective antifungal agent against the growth of P. expansum inoculated on bread; however, its antifungal potential manifested against P. chrysogenum suggests GMEO to be an appropriate alternative to the use of chemical inhibitors for bread preservation.
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