Effect of the Melicoccus bijugatus leaf and fruit extracts and acidic solvents on the antimicrobial properties of chitosan-starch films

J Appl Microbiol. 2021 Sep;131(3):1162-1176. doi: 10.1111/jam.15025. Epub 2021 Mar 18.


Aim: Analysing the antimicrobial activity-against food-borne micro-organisms-of modified chitosan-starch films using formic and acetic acid as chitosan solvents and Melicoccus bijugatus leaves and fruit extracts.

Methods and results: The films' antimicrobial activity against mesophilic aerobic bacteria, total coliform and fungi were also analysed, in accordance with the Mexican Official Norms (NOM-092-SSA1-1994, NOM-111-SSA1-1994 and NOM-113-SSA1-1994). The pH values of the films and extracts were measured, and the volatile compounds of the extracts and two films were determined by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) considering the relationship among the type of compounds, extracts concentration, films' pH and the antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi. The best results are obtained by films with formic acid and 10% (v/v) of leaf and fruit extracts, in comparison with untreated chitosan-starch films.

Conclusions: The extracts' compounds improved the films' antimicrobial capacity and inhibited the growth of micro-organisms with no previous sterilization required. It is correlated to the pH of the media, the combination of solvent/extract used and its concentration.

Significance and impact of the study: This is one of the few researches where the antimicrobial activity of M. bijugatus extracts is studied. It was found that the presence of these extracts is capable of improving the antimicrobial activities of chitosan-starch films. The performance of the modified films suggests their potential application as novel food packaging materials and encourages further research.

Keywords: Melicoccus bijugatus; GC-MS analysis; antimicrobial activity; chitosan-starch; measurement of pH.

MeSH terms

  • Acids
  • Anti-Infective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Chitosan* / pharmacology
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Packaging
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts* / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Sapindaceae / chemistry*
  • Solvents
  • Starch


  • Acids
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • Starch
  • Chitosan

Supplementary concepts

  • Melicoccus