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Fitoterapia. 2013 Oct;90:214-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.07.021. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of anethole-rich oil from leaves of selected varieties of fennel [Foeniculum vulgare Mill. ssp. vulgare var. azoricum (Mill.) Thell].

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano, 49, 80131 Naples, Italy. Electronic address:


The chemical composition and biological activity of the essential oils obtained from the leaves of two different cultivars of Florence fennel cropped under three different fertilization treatments (Control not fertilized; Mineral Fertilization; Compost from Municipal Solid Wastes) have been analyzed. All the oils were characterized by high anethole concentration and some showed also a good percentage of limonene. Thus, the leaves of Florence fennel, which are agricultural wastes, could be used for the recovery of anethole to be used for its flavoring and biomedical properties. The antimicrobial activity expressed by assays on the examined oils indicates an appreciable effect, generally higher on Gram-positive bacteria. The various samples of Florence fennel analyzed did not show any results with FRAP test. The DPPH test showed a weak capacity of the samples to catch the free radicals from the solution, attributable to their content in anethole.


Antibacterial activity; Antioxidant activity; Essential oil; Fertilization; Foeniculum vulgare Mill. ssp. vulgare var. azoricum (Mill.) Thell

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