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Keywords:

  • anti-aflatoxigenic;
  • antifungal;
  • Aspergillus flavus;
  • Pelargonium graveolens

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Contamination of stored food commodities by moulds and mycotoxins results in qualitative as well as quantitative losses. Most of the synthetic antimicrobials used for preservation of stored food items produce side effects in the form of residual and mammalian toxicity. Recently some higher plant products have been recommended as safe alternatives of such synthetic antimicrobials. In the present investigation antifungal efficacy of some essential oils was evaluated against two toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus with special reference to the oil of Pelargonium graveolens to investigate its potential to inhibit aflatoxin B1 secretion.

RESULTS: Essential oil of P. graveolens exhibited absolute fungitoxicity against both the toxigenic strains of A. flavus. The minimum inhibitory concentration of the oil was found to be 0.75 g L−1 and exhibited a fungistatic nature. It was found superior over the synthetic fungicides tested and exhibited a broad fungitoxic spectrum. The oil showed excellent anti-aflatoxigenic efficacy as it completely inhibited aflatoxin B1 production even at 0.50 g L−1.

CONCLUSION: This is the first report on the aflatoxin B1 inhibitory nature of P. graveolens oil. It may be recommended as a novel plant-based antimicrobial as well as aflatoxin B1 suppressor over synthetic preservatives in food protection. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry