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Evaluation of antifungal capacity of essential oil from leaves of Pimenta pseudocaryophyllus on mould of stored grains.

Grant number: 13/01718-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Micotti da Gloria
Grantee:Marianne Aline Tufani Batista
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The main cause of stored grains deterioration is due to fungal growth. The fungal growth can result in a decrease of nutritional and commercial value, and can also promote the occurrence of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are harmful to animals and human beings that may consume contaminated grains. One of main techniques to control fungal growth in stored grains has been the use of fungicides. However, most fungicides are synthetic products that can affect the environment and human health, leave residues on agricultural products over the allowed limit, and also increase production costs. Therefore, society has demanded less harmful types of fungicide. They are called alternative pesticides: with low or no toxicity to man and nature, efficient to control insects and harmful microorganisms, biodegradable, and that do not promote the appearance of resistant insects and microorganisms. Essential oils are volatile oils composed of a mix of complex hydrocarbons (usually terpenes) and other chemical substances extracted from plants, normally by a distillation method, and that present the requirements to be considered as alternative pesticides. Among vegetables, the Myrtaceae family has shown several species with the potential to produce bioactive essential oils. The Pimenta pseudocaryophyllus belongs to this family, and is a natural species from the Atlantic Forest biome; the essential oil of its leaves has shown some bioactivity against microorganisms. This work has the aim to evaluate the level of antifungal effect of essential oils from leaves of Pimenta pseudocaryophyllus on Aspergillus flavus, and also on the natural microflora of stored maize.