Chemical composition, antioxidant activity and antimicrobial activity of essential oil from Citrus aurantium L zest against some pathogenic microorganisms

Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. 2019 May 27;74(5-6):105-111. doi: 10.1515/znc-2018-0062.


This study aims to investigate the chemical composition, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activity of Citrus aurantium L zest essential oil. The identification of the chemical compounds was done using chromatography analysis. The antioxidant activity was studied by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay. Results showed that the main components of the essential oil were limonene (85.22%), β-myrcene (4.3%), and α-pinene (1.29%). Regarding the DPPH radical scavenging ability, the zest essential oil showed higher activity than limonene. The antimicrobial activity of the essential oil against pathogenic [Staphylococcus aureus NBIMCC 3703, Salmonella sp. (clinical isolate), Pseudomonas aeruginosa NBIMCC 1390, Bacillus subtilis NBIMCC 1208, Escherichia coli NBIMCC 3702] microorganisms by disc-diffusion method was examined. Gram-positive bacteria were more sensitive to the oil (inhibition zones being between 9 and 12.5 mm) and the minimum inhibitory concentration was more than 600 ppm; Gram-negative bacteria were less sensitive. The obtained essential oil displayed promising results for its application as a biopreservative agent.

Keywords: antimicrobial activity; antioxidant activity; chemical composition; essential oil; gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Bacillus subtilis / drug effects
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Salmonella / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts