BACKGROUND: The consequence of misusing chemical biocides in controlling pests and diseases has drawn the attention of policy makers to the development of methods potentially available in nature for this purpose. In the present study the inhibitory effects of black caraway, fennel and peppermint essential oils against Botrytis cinerea were tested at various concentrations in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: The in vitro results showed that the growth of B. cinerea was completely inhibited by the application of black caraway and fennel oils at concentrations of 400 and 600 µL L−1 respectively. The in vivo results indicated that black caraway, fennel and peppermint oils at all applied concentrations inhibited B. cinerea growth on plum fruits compared with the control. In addition, all three oils at higher concentrations showed positive effects on fruit quality characteristics such as titrable acidity, total soluble solids, carbohydrate content, pH and weight loss percentage. Thus the oils inhibited the infection of plum fruits by B. cinerea and increased their storage life.
CONCLUSION: This research confirms the antifungal effects of black caraway, fennel and peppermint essential oils both in vitro and in vivo on plum fruits postharvest. Therefore these essential oils could be an alternative to chemicals to control postharvest phytopathogenic fungi on plum fruits. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry