• ABTS;
  • A. flavus;
  • antiaflatoxigenic;
  • antioxidant;
  • antifungal;
  • Mentha arvensis


Essential oils from different parts of 18 plants belonging to 11 families were extracted and tested against two toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus Link through the poisoned food technique. The oil of Mentha arvensis was found to be effective against both strains of A. flavus and completely stopped the radial mycelial growth of A. flavus at 0.10 mg mL−1. It was found to be superior over the synthetic fungicides tested and showed a broad fungitoxic spectrum against A. niger, A. fumigatus, Botryodiplodia theobromae, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Helminthosporium oryzae, Macrophomina phaseolina and Sclerotium rolfsii at 0.10 mg mL−1. The oil completely inhibited the aflatoxin B1 production by the toxigenic strain of A. flavus at 0.05 mg mL−1. Moreover, the Mentha oil also exhibited potent antioxidant activity in 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphuric acid (ABTS) bioassay. Keeping in mind the side effects of synthetic pesticides and the global interest in botanical pesticides for plant protection due to their biodegradable nature, M. arvensis oil may be used as a botanical fungitoxicant against fungal attack to stored food commodities. The antiaflatoxigenic and antioxidant nature of the oil suggest the possibility of its exploitation for enhancing the shelf life of stored food commodities. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry