Wild Amazonian basil Ocimum micranthum Willd. (O. campechianum Mill.) Labiatae essential oil was analyzed by GC and GC-MS: 31 compounds were identified. The main components were eugenol (46.55 ( 5.11%), â-caryophyllene (11.94 ( 1.31%), and â-elemene (9.06 ( 0.99%), while a small amount of linalool (1.49( 0.16%) was detected. The oil was tested for its in vitro food-related biological activities and compared with common basil Ocimum basilicumand Thymus vulgaris commercial essential oils. Radical scavenging activity was evaluated employing 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. The oil exerted a good capacity to act as a nonspecific donor of hydrogen atoms or electrons when checked in the diphenylpicrylhydrazyl assay, quenching 76,61 (0.33% of the radical, with values higher than those reported by reference oils. In the b-carotene bleaching test, the oil provided an antioxidant efficacy comparable with that of O. basilicum and T. vulgaris essential oils. These data were confirmed by photochemiluminescence, where the oil showed a remarkable antioxidant capacity (2.39 ( 0.1), comparable to that of Trolox and vitamin E, and higher than the other essential oils. Antibacterial activity of O. micranthum essential oil was evaluated against Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial strains. The oil showed a dose-dependent antifungal activity against pathogenic and food spoiling yeasts.
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