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Effect of corm age on the antioxidant, bactericidal and fungicidal activities of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) stigmas

Seyed Esmaeil Razavi, Seid Mahdi Jafari
Food control 2021 v.130 pp. 108358
Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Crocus sativus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, agar, analgesics, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, color, corms, equations, flavor, food safety, fungi, minimum inhibitory concentration, odors, saffron, sedatives
Saffron, the dried stigmas of the flowers of Crocus sativus L., is famous for its color, aroma and medicinal properties with beneficial characteristics that are utilized for treating numerous illnesses because of its analgesic and sedative properties. In this research, the antimicrobial activity of the methanolic extracts of the saffron samples with different ages were examined against bacterial (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus) and fungal (Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans) species through the agar well diffusion method. The minimum bactericidal and fungicidal concentrations and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of each extract were measured. The results revealed the higher pigment, flavor and antioxidant components of the 3-year saffron than the 6-year one. The antioxidant activity was correlated only with safranal between the saffron bioactive components through the polynomial equation (R² = 0.856, P < 0.001). The results indicated that the methanolic saffron extracts were active against the tested microorganisms with larger bactericidal activities than the fungicidal ones (P ≤ 0.05). The relationship between the inhibition zone and MIC with safranal and antioxidant activity was also significant (R² in the range of 0.49–0.93 and 0.48–89 respectively). The results suggested that saffron extract at lower ages could be utilized as a proper source of natural antimicrobial agents in the food and pharmaceutical industries for preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.