The essential oil from the fruits of the Brazilian spice Xylopia sericea A. St.-Hil. presents expressive in-vitro antibacterial and antioxidant activity

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;69(3):341-348. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12698. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


Objectives: The aims of this study were to investigate the chemical composition and the antioxidant activity and antibacterial activity of the essential oil of Xylopia sericea fruits (OXS). The fruits of this species are popularly used for medicinal purposes, and as a condiment in food preparation.

Methods: The chemical composition of OXS was analysed by GC/MS. 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging, β-carotene/linoleic acid bleaching and phosphomolybdenum and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) assays were used to evaluate the antioxidant activity. Antibacterial activity was assessed by minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) against bacterial strains of interest to human health and food spoilage.

Key findings: Eighty-four compounds were identified. The sesquiterpenes spathulenol (16.42%), guaiol (13.93%) and germacrene D (8.11%) were the most abundant constituents. OXS presented a significant antioxidant activity and also a high bacteriostatic effect against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cloacae, Bacillus cereus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Conclusions: Those results evidenced the potential of OXS to treat human bacterial infections and as an antimicrobial ingredient for food preservation.

Keywords: Xylopia sericea; bacterial infections; essential oil; food preservation.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Brazil
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Picrates / chemistry
  • Picrates / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology
  • Sesquiterpenes, Germacrane / chemistry
  • Sesquiterpenes, Germacrane / pharmacology
  • Sesquiterpenes, Guaiane
  • Xylopia / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes, Germacrane
  • Sesquiterpenes, Guaiane
  • diphenyl
  • spathulenol
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • guaiol
  • germacrene D