Essential oil of Aegle marmelos as a safe plant-based antimicrobial against postharvest microbial infestations and aflatoxin contamination of food commodities.
J Food Sci. 2009 Aug ;74(6):M302-7. PMID: 19723215
The essential oil of Aegle marmelos L. Correa (Rutaceae) showed strong fungitoxicity against some storage fungi-causing contamination of foodstuffs. The oil also showed efficacy as aflatoxin suppressor at 500 microL/L as it completely arrested the aflatoxin B(1) production by the toxigenic strains (Navjot 4NSt and Saktiman 3NSt) of Aspergillus flavus Link. Keeping in view the side effects of synthetic fungicides, A. marmelos oil may be recommended as an antimicrobial of plant origin to enhance the shelf life of stored food commodities by controlling the fungal growth as well as aflatoxin secretion. This is the 1st report on aflatoxin B(1) inhibitory nature of this oil. A. marmelos oil may be recommended as a novel plant-based antimicrobial in food protection over synthetic preservatives, most of which are reported to incite environmental problems because of their nonbiodegradable nature and side effects on mammals. The LD(50) of Aegle oil was found to be 23659.93 mg/kg body weight in mice (Mus musculus L.) when administered for acute oral toxicity showing nonmammalian toxicity of the oil. GC-MS analysis of the oil found DL-Limonene to be major component.