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J Food Sci. 2012 Aug;77(8):M441-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02821.x.

Antifungal effect of Mexican oregano (Lippia berlandieri Schauer) essential oil on a wheat flour-based medium.

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Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México.


The antimicrobial activity of oregano has been attributed mainly to the presence of volatile compounds found in its essential oil (EO), mainly carvacrol and thymol. The search for antimicrobial activity of oregano EO with different concentrations of thymol and carvacrol, can lead to products with a wider range of applications. The aim of this work was to describe the in vitro antifungal effect of Mexican oregano (Lippia berlandieri Schauer) EO fractions on the growth of Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Rhizopus sp. The Mexican oregano EO fractions studied had different concentrations of carvacrol, which decreased from fraction 1 to 5 (81% to 23%), while thymol content increased from 3% to 64%. Fungal inhibition was evaluated on a wheat flour-based medium with EO fractions concentrations ranging from 50 to 200 mg/kg. Radial growth curves were fitted using the modified Gompertz model (R(2)(adj) = 0.989 ± 0.01). No significant differences (P > 0.05) were found with the different composition of the Mexican oregano EO fractions; nevertheless, fraction concentration presented significant (P < 0.05) mold inhibition as concentration increased. Rhizopus sp. (Rh18) showed a linear reduction on specific growth rate, on the maximum mold growth at the stationary phase, and an increase in the lag time as the concentration of the oregano EO increased; mold growth inhibition were achieved at 150 mg/kg in fractions 1 to 4, and at 100 mg/kg for fraction 5. Aspergillus sp. (As6) and Penicillium sp. (Pe36) were inhibited at 150 and 200 mg/kg, respectively. Results obtained suggest that Mexican oregano EO (Lippia berlandieri Schauer) compounds could be used as antimicrobial agents to prevent fungal growth in bakery products.

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