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Front Microbiol. 2016 Feb 26;7:198. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00198. eCollection 2016.

The Antibacterial Activity of Date Syrup Polyphenols against S. aureus and E. coli.

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Department of Healthcare and Food, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff, UK.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff, UK.


Plant-derived products such as date syrup (DS) have demonstrated antibacterial activity and can inhibit bacteria through numerous different mechanisms, which may be attributed to bioactive compounds including plant-derived phenolic molecules. DS is rich in polyphenols and this study hypothesized that DS polyphenols demonstrate inherent antimicrobial activity, which cause oxidative damage. This investigation revealed that DS has a high content of total polyphenols (605 mg/100 g), and is rich in tannins (357 mg/100 g), flavonoids (40.5 mg/100 g), and flavanols (31.7 mg/100 g) that are known potent antioxidants. Furthermore, DS, and polyphenols extracted from DS, the most abundant bioactive constituent of DS are bacteriostatic to both Gram positive and Gram negative Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. It has further been shown that the extracted polyphenols independently suppress the growth of bacteria at minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 30 and 20 mg/mL for E. coli and S. aureus, and have observed that DS behaves as a prooxidant by generating hydrogen peroxide that mediates bacterial growth inhibition as a result of oxidative stress. At sub-lethal MIC concentrations DS demonstrated antioxidative activity by reducing hydrogen peroxide, and at lethal concentrations DS demonstrated prooxidant activity that inhibited the growth of E. coli and S. aureus. The high sugar content naturally present in DS did not significantly contribute to this effect. These findings highlight that DS's antimicrobial activity is mediated through hydrogen peroxide generation in inducing oxidative stress in bacteria.


Phoenix dactylifera L.; S. aureus; date syrup; polyphenol

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