Scientists analyze the antioxidant properties of the pepper fruit tree

Extracts from the pepper fruit tree (Dennettia tripetala) have been found to have antifungal, insecticidal, and anti-inflammatory properties. In a study that was published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers investigated the potential of essential oils from the plant’s unripe (UFO) and ripe (RFO) fruit as an antibacterial and antioxidant treatment.

  • The researchers characterized both UFO and RFO using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and found that the oils contained a host of compounds and chemicals, including terpenoids.
  • They tested the extracts on strains of multi-resistant bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Listeria ivanovii, Enterobacter cloacae, E. coli, and Vibrio spp. These strains had been confirmed resistant to antibiotics Ampicillin, Cefuroxime, Tetracycline, Nalidixic, Cephalexin, Sulphamethoxazole, and Streptomycin. The goal was to determine the oils’ minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) potentials.
  • The researchers also tested the oils’ radical scavenging capabilities in DPPH, ABTS, nitric oxide radical, and lipid peroxidation tests.
  • Both essential oils were found to inhibit bacteria, but UFO required a lower MIC to achieve the same results as RFO.
  • Concerning¬†its antioxidant properties, RFO demonstrated powerful effects that were more potent than those of both UFO and vitamin C but was outperformed by beta-carotene. Both UFO and RFO were able to scavenge multiple types of radicals in a concentration-dependent manner.

The researchers concluded that both UFP and RFO had antibacterial and antioxidant properties that made them excellent candidates as lead constituents for new treatments.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Okoh SO, Iweriegbor BC, Okoh OO, Nwodo UU, Okoh AI. BACTERICIDAL AND ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES OF ESSENTIAL OILS FROM THE FRUITS DENNETTIA TRIPETALA G. BAKER. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 28 November 2016;16(486). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1459-4

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