Elisavet Bouloumpasi, Magdalini Hatzikamari, Stamatia Christaki, Athina Lazaridou, Paschalina Chatzopoulou, Costas G. Biliaderis, Maria Irakli

Assessment of Antioxidant and Antibacterial Potential of Phenolic Extracts from Post-Distillation Solid Residues of Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Lemon Balm, and Spearmint

  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering

Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are potential sources of natural polyphenols. Solid residues (SRs) from the essential oil (EO) industry are produced in significant volumes and may be used as natural sources of bioactive compounds. Therefore, this work was designed to examine the antioxidant and antibacterial characteristics of phenolic extracts obtained from SRs that have remained after EO distillation. SR extracts of Greek oregano, rosemary, spearmint, lemon balm, and Greek sage were assessed for their total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity, and antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, and Bacillus cereus in the concentration range of 500-3000 mg/L. The rosemary and Greek sage extracts exhibited the strongest antibacterial activities against all the Gram-positive species, while the spearmint and oregano extracts were less effective and only had an effect at the highest concentration used. The lemon balm extract did not show any inhibitory effect; however, it had the highest TPC, showing moderate antioxidant activity, along with spearmint. The oregano extract exhibited the strongest antioxidant activity, followed by Greek sage and rosemary. The experimental findings pointed to the potential use of extracts from post-distillation residues of MAPs as antimicrobials in the food industry, in addition to being rich sources of bioactive compounds.

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