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Open AccessArticle

Unravelling the Antifungal Effect of Red Thyme Oil (Thymus vulgaris L.) Compounds in Vapor Phase

1
Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy, Via G. Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Bari, Via Orabona, 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
3
Jaber Innovation S.r.l., Via Calcutta 8, 00144 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniela Rigano
Molecules 2020, 25(20), 4761; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25204761
Received: 9 September 2020 / Revised: 14 October 2020 / Accepted: 14 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils as Antimicrobial and Anti-infectious Agents II)
The aim of this work was to evaluate the antifungal activity in vapor phase of thymol, p-cymene, and γ-terpinene, the red thyme essential oil compounds (RTOCs). The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of RTOCs was determined against postharvest spoilage fungi of the genera Botrytis, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Monilinia, by measuring the reduction of the fungal biomass after exposure for 72 h at 25 °C. Thymol showed the lowest MIC (7.0 µg/L), followed by γ-terpinene (28.4 µg/L) and p-cymene (40.0 µg/L). In the case of P. digitatum ITEM 9569, resistant to commercial RTO, a better evaluation of interactions among RTOCs was performed using the checkerboard assay and the calculation of the Fractional Inhibitory Concentration Index (FICI). During incubation, changes in the RTOCs concentration were measured by GC-MS analysis. A synergistic effect between thymol (0.013 ± 0.003 L/L) and γ-terpinene (0.990 ± 0.030 L/L) (FICI = 0.50) in binary combinations, and between p-cymene (0.700 ± 0.010 L/L) and γ-terpinene (0.290 ± 0.010 L/L) in presence of thymol (0.008 ± 0.001 L/L) (FICI = 0.19), in ternary combinations was found. The synergistic effect against the strain P. digitatum ITEM 9569 suggests that different combinations among RTOCs could be defined to control fungal strains causing different food spoilage phenomena. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential oils; GC-MS analysis; antifungal activity; synergistic activity; vapor phase essential oils; GC-MS analysis; antifungal activity; synergistic activity; vapor phase
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pinto, L.; Bonifacio, M.A.; De Giglio, E.; Cometa, S.; Logrieco, A.F.; Baruzzi, F. Unravelling the Antifungal Effect of Red Thyme Oil (Thymus vulgaris L.) Compounds in Vapor Phase. Molecules 2020, 25, 4761.

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