Supercritical fluid extraction of four aromatic herbs and assessment of the volatile compositions, bioactive compounds, antibacterial, and anti-biofilm activity

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Jan 18. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-12346-6. Online ahead of print.


Artemisia arborescens, Artemisia abyssinica, Pulicaria jaubertii, and Pulicaria petiolaris are fragrant herbs traditionally used in medication and as a food seasoning. To date, there are no studies on the use of supercritical fluids extraction with carbon dioxide (SFE-CO2) on these plants. This study evaluates and compares total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity by DPPH and ABTS•+, antibacterial, and anti-biofilm activities of SFE-CO2 extracts. Extraction was done by SFE-CO2 with 10% ethanol as a co-solvent. A. abyssinica extract had the highest extraction yield (8.9% ± 0.41). The GC/MS analysis of volatile compounds identified 307, 265, 213, and 201compounds in A. abyssinica, A. arborescens, P. jaubertii, and P. petiolaris, respectively. The P. jaubertii extract had the highest TPC (662.46 ± 50.93 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dry extract), antioxidant activity (58.98% ± 0.20), and antioxidant capacity (71.78 ± 1.84 mg Trolox equivalent/g dry extract). The A. abyssinica and P. jaubertii extracts had significantly higher antimicrobial activity and were more effective against Gram-positive bacteria. B. subtilis was the most sensitive bacterium. P. aeruginosa was the most resistant bacterium. P. jaubertii extract had the optimum MIC and MBC (0.4 mg/ml) against B. subtilis. All SFE-CO2 extracts were effective as an anti-biofilm formation for all tested bacteria at 1/2 MIC. Meanwhile, P. jaubertii and P. petiolaris extracts were effective anti-biofilm for most tested bacteria at 1/16 MIC. Overall, the results indicated that the SFE-CO2 extracts of these plants are good sources of TPC, antioxidants, and antibacterial, and they have promising applications in the industrial fields.

Keywords: Anti-biofilm; Antibacterial; Antioxidant; Phenolic content; Supercritical fluids extraction; Volatile compositions.