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J Food Prot. 2006 Oct;69(10):2471-7.

Dunaliella salina microalga pressurized liquid extracts as potential antimicrobials.

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  • 1Instituto de Fermentaciones Industriales, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain.


In the present work, the antimicrobial activity of different pressurized liquid extracts obtained from Dunaliella salina microalga was tested against several microorganisms of importance for the food industry (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger). Different solvents (hexane, petroleum ether, hexane, and water) and extraction conditions (40, 100, and 160 degrees C) were tested. Results showed that the best antimicrobial activity was obtained for each solvent at the highest extraction temperature (160 degrees C). Likewise, the extraction yield followed the same trend, i.e., increasing with extraction temperature and was at a maximum when ethanol was used as an extraction solvent. Water extracts had the lowest extraction yields. In general, the best results in terms of antimicrobial activity were obtained using petroleum ether and hexane, although ethanolic extracts also showed good antimicrobial activity. Because the main antimicrobial activity of the extracts was against bacteria, the extracts can be considered to be specifically antibacterial. The extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in order to identify the compounds responsible for activity. Fifteen different volatile compounds as well as several fatty acids (mainly palmitic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic acids) that could have been responsible for the antimicrobial activity were identified in the extracts. beta-Cyclocitral, alpha- and beta-ionone, neophytadiene, and phytol were identified among other volatile compounds; all of these compounds have previously been described as antimicrobial agents.

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