• biological activity;
  • CG/MS;
  • chemical composition;
  • Citrus aurantium;
  • essential oil;
  • season

Abstract:  Citrus aurantium leaves' essential oils (EOs) were evaluated for chemical composition and antioxidant and antibacterial activities. The vegetable material, taken 5 times during the year, has undergone the hydrodistillation to prepare EO. Chemical characterization by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and GC/flame ionization detection allowed the identification of 46 compounds, and a notable quantitative and qualitative differences between the different Petitgrain samples according to the harvest time. Linalool (43.2% to 65.97%), linalyl acetate (0.77% to 24.77%), and α-terpineol (9.29% to 12.12%) were the main components. The most important number of components was registered for summer EOs (July and September). The 5 EOs submitted biological activities screening, namely, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Weak antioxidant activities (IC50 values >10000 mg/L) were registered by both 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azinobis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonate assays, mostly because the weak amount of phenols in EOs. Antibacterial activities (12 microorganisms) were registered against Gram-positive bacteria [Bacillus subtilis (MIC = 2.7 mg/mL), Staphylococcus aureus (4.8 mg/mL)], and moderated ones against yeasts [Saccharomyces cerevisiae (9.2 mg/mL)] and fungi [Mucor ramannianus (5 mg/mL)]. Positive correlations between the identified compounds and the antimicrobial activities were noted. Many compounds were correlated to antimicrobial activity mainly caryophyllene oxide against Escherichia coli (R2= 0.99), S. cerevisiae (R2= 0.99), and Fusarium culmorum (R2= 0.99).