DOI: 10.3390/foods13010033 ISSN: 2304-8158

An In-Depth Study on the Chemical Composition and Biological Effects of Pelargonium graveolens Essential Oil

Miroslava Kačániová, Milena Vukic, Nenad L. Vukovic, Natália Čmiková, Andrea Verešová, Marianna Schwarzová, Mária Babošová, Jana Ivanič Porhajašová, Maciej Kluz, Bożena Waszkiewicz-Robak, Anis Ben Hsouna, Rania Ben Saad, Stefania Garzoli
  • Plant Science
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Health (social science)
  • Microbiology
  • Food Science

The essential oil of Pelargonium graveolens (PGEO) is identified in the literature as a rich source of bioactive compounds with a high level of biological activity. This study aimed to examine the chemical profile of PGEO as well as its antioxidant, antibacterial, antibiofilm, and insecticidal properties. Its chemical composition was analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS), achieving comprehensive identification of 99.2% of volatile compounds. The predominant identified compounds were β-citronellol (29.7%) and geraniol (14.6%). PGEO’s antioxidant potential was determined by means of DPPH radical and ABTS radical cation neutralization. The results indicate a higher capacity of PGEO to neutralize the ABTS radical cation, with an IC50 value of 0.26 ± 0.02 mg/mL. Two techniques were used to assess antimicrobial activity: minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and disk diffusion. Antimicrobial evaluation using the disk diffusion method revealed that Salmonella enterica (14.33 ± 0.58 mm), which forms biofilms, and Priestia megaterium (14.67 ± 0.58 mm) were most susceptible to exposure to PGEO. The MIC assay demonstrated the highest performance of this EO against biofilm-forming S. enterica (MIC 50 0.57 ± 0.006; MIC 90 0.169 ± 0.08 mg/mL). In contrast to contact application, the assessment of the in situ vapor phase antibacterial activity of PGEO revealed significantly more potent effects. An analysis of antibiofilm activity using MALDI-TOF MS demonstrated PGEO’s capacity to disrupt the biofilm homeostasis of S. enterica growing on plastic and stainless steel. Additionally, insecticidal evaluations indicated that treatment with PGEO at doses of 100% and 50% resulted in the complete mortality of all Harmonia axyridis individuals.

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