Evaluation of Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of the Angolan Cymbopogon Citratus Essential Oil With a View to Its Utilization as Food Biopreservative

  •  Marta Soares    
  •  Ana Vinha    
  •  Sérgio Barreira    
  •  Filipe Coutinho    
  •  Sérgio Aires-Gonçalves    
  •  Maria Oliveira    
  •  Pedro Pires    
  •  Ana Castro    


It was studied the chemical composition, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties of the essential oil obtained from the Cymbopogon citratus of Angolan origin. Its major constituents analyzed by GC-MS were Alpha-citral (40.55%), Beta-citral (28.26%), myrcene (10.50%) and geraniol (3.37%). The essential oil antioxidant capacity was statistically identical to that of synthetic antioxidants (DPPH IC50 of 41.7 mg/ml) and superior to that of extracts obtained from fresh leaves of the plant (DPPH IC50 of 55.7 mg/ml). The oil also demonstrated to possess high antibacterial activity even against multidrug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae and antifungal activity against Candida albicans and Non-Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis. The results of this study, in conjunction with already published data on the properties of other Cymbopogon citratus oils, provide evidence that it could have a potential application as food preservative.

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