Essential Oil Applications, Melaleuca & Backhousia, Research Updates|

The influence of essential oils (EOs) extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifoliaMelaleuca quinquenervia and Backhousia citriodora on ochratoxin A (OTA) synthesis by fungi was studied. The extraction of EOs was performed by hydrodistillation (Clevenger apparatus) over a 2-h period and subsequently analyzed by GC–MS and GC–FID. The toxigenic activity of the essential oils (31.25; 15.62 and 7.81 µg mL−1) was evaluated by inhibiting the production of OTA by Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus carbonarius in Czapek agar medium culture. The quantification of the toxin was performed by HPLC. The production of OTA was dependent on the fungal species, incubation temperature (15 and 25 °C) and the presence of the essential oils. In tests carried out at 15 °C, the oils caused a reduction in OTA synthesis that ranged from 57.60 to 76.93% and from 54.78 to 98.68% for the fungal species A. carbonarius and A. niger, respectively. At 25 °C, reductions ranged from the 38.66 to 75.93% and from 17.94 to 71.79% for the respective fungi. The study concluded that natural products could be potential biocontrol agents against OTA contamination in food.

Reference: de Andrade Santiago, J., M. das Graças Cardoso, L. R. Batista, W. D. Santiago, F. R. F. Passamani, L. M. A. Rodrigues and D. L. Nelson (2018). “Effect of the essential oils from Melaleuca alternifolia, Melaleuca quinquenervia and Backhousia citriodora on the synthesis of ochratoxin A by Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus carbonarius isolated from tropical wine grapes.” Journal of food science and technology 55(1): 418-423.

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