The essential oil of Ishpingo (Ocotea quixos, Lauraceae) fruit calices was analysed by GC (gas chromatography) and GC–MS (gas chromatography–mass spectrometry). Fourty-four compounds were identified. The main components detected were trans-cinnamaldehyde (27.9%), methylcinnamate (21.6%), 1,8-cineole (8.0%), benzaldehyde (3.6%), and b-selinene (2.1%). In vitro antioxidant properties of the essential oil, obtained by DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and b-carotene bleaching assays, were also evaluated. The oil exerted a relatively good capacity to act as a non-specific donor of hydrogen atoms or electrons when checked by the diphenylpicrylhydrazyl assay, quenching 52% of the radical. On the other hand, it showed weak effects in inhibiting oxidation of linoleic acid when assayed by the b-carotene bleaching test. Antibacterial activity of the essential oil was also checked against gram positive (Enterococcus foecalis, Staphylococcus aureus) and gram negative strains (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa). The oil also showed a dose-dependent antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, phytopathogen Pythium ultimum and dermatophyte Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
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