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Fitopatologia Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0100-4158On-line version ISSN 1678-4677


JHAM, Gulab N.; DHINGRA, Onkar D.; JARDIM, Carolina M.  and  VALENTE, Vânia M. M.. Identification of the major fungitoxic component of cinnamon bark oil. Fitopatol. bras. [online]. 2005, vol.30, n.4, pp.404-408. ISSN 0100-4158.

The study was done to identify the most active fungitoxic component of cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) oil that can be used as a marker for standardization of cinnamon extract or oil based natural preservative of stored seeds. Aspergillus flavus and A. ruber were used as test fungi. The hexane extracted crude oil and the hydro-distilled essential oil from cinnamon bark had complete growth inhibition concentration (CGIC) of 300 and 100 µl/l, respectively. Both oils produced three fractions on preparative thin layer silica-gel chromatography plates. The fraction-2 of either oil was the largest and most active, with CGIC of 200 µl/l, but the fungitoxicity was also retained in the other two fractions. The fraction-1 and 3 of the crude oil reduced growth of both the fungal species by 65%, and those of distilled oil by 45% at 200 µl/l. The CGIC of these fractions from both the sources was above 500 µl/l. The gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of the fraction-2 of the hexane extract revealed that it contained 61% cinnamaldehyde, 29% cinnamic acid, and two minor unidentified compounds in the proportion of 4% and 6%. The GC-MS of the fraction-2 of the distilled oil revealed that it contained 99.1% cinnamaldehyde and 0.9% of an unidentified compound. The CGIC of synthetic cinnamaldehyde was 300 µl/l and that of cinnamic acid above 500 µl/l. The 1:1 mixture of cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid had CGIC of 500 µl/l. The data revealed that cinnamaldehyde was the major fungitoxic component of hexane extract and the distilled essential oil of cinnamon bark, while other components have additive or synergistic effects on total fungitoxicity. It is suggested that the natural seed preservative based on cinnamon oil can be standardized against cinnamaldehyde.

Keywords : essential oils; antifungal activity; fungitoxicity; active compounds; cinnamon oil; seed preservative.

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