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Eucalyptus oleosa F. Muell essential oil: extraction, chemical composition and antimicrobial activity

Ben Hassine, D., Ben Ismail, H., Jribi, C., Khouja, M.L., Abderrabba, M.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.997 pp. 77-82
food spoilage, Staphylococcus aureus, essential oils, Gram-positive bacteria, Salmonella Enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes, leaves, Escherichia coli, Gram-negative bacteria, Eucalyptus, minimum inhibitory concentration, Enterococcus, Salmonella Anatum, arboreta, food preservatives, antibacterial properties, chemical composition, cineole, food industry, foodborne illness, anti-infective agents
The objective of this study is the chemical characterization of the essential oil of Eucalyptus oleosa F. Muell, grown in the arboretum of Sidi Ismail, and the evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of essential oils against some strains causing foodborne illness, in order to find other outlets for the food industry and to replace the use of chemical food preservatives. The extraction of essential oil from dried leaves of Eucalyptus oleosa F. Muell was carried out by hydrodistillation using a Clevenger type apparatus. The chemical composition was determined using GC/MS. The analyzed sample was rich in oxygenated monoterpenes and the major component was 1-8 cineole (eucalyptol) (22.94%). A significant antimicrobial activity of Tunisian Eucalyptus oleosa against six strains of microorganisms which are an important source of food spoilage and a threat to consumer health was detected. E. oleosa essential oil was applied against three Gram-positive bacteria: Enterococcus feacalis ATCC 29212, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Listeria monocytogenes and three Gram-negative bacteria (namely): Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Salmonella anatum and Salmonella enteritidis. The antimicrobial activity was carried out on the basis of the aromatogram technique for determining the zones of inhibition of the tested strains. We concluded that the variation of the chemical composition of the essential oil studied affects the antibacterial activity. The determination of the minimum inhibitory concentration of E. oleosa essential oil revealed that the bactericidal dose against all organisms tested was in the range of 28-56 µg/ml. Our findings have an important utility in the application of essential oil of E. oleosa, which may be used as an antimicrobial agent and a preservative in a particular food.