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Natural Products and Essential Oils Biocidal Activities and Innovative Applications

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 14809

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology and Food Science, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Interests: horticulture; vegetable science; aromatic/medicinal plants; greenhouse crops and hydroponics; substrate/growing media evaluation; soil; fresh produce preservation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) contain a plethora of diverse biochemical compounds and are widely distributed worldwide. Since time immemorial, humans from all cultures worldwide have selected plants as food. Furthermore, the widespread traditional uses of natural herbs and medicinal plants in curing and preventing diseases (nature’s pharmacy) are very well described in ancient texts. Medicinal, aromatic, and edible plant extracts and their essential oils (EOs) are well known due to their antibiotic, antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, among others, and several herb-derived products or dietary supplements are available on the market today, being advertised for their health claims. MAP compounds are molecules that are necessary for plant survival and adaptation to new environmental conditions, but they can also have different fates: helping in the fight against human diseases, preserving fresh produce during storage, functioning as additives in food products in order to enhance their nutritional and organoleptic properties as well as their shelf life and stability, and playing biostimulant and eustress roles in plant metabolism. Moreover, the extraction methods and methods of application might affect the efficacy of natural-based extracts and essential oils.

This Special Issue covers multidisciplinary topics, including the characterization of bioactive compounds in MAPs, and potential applications in different food products, as functional ingredients and as alternative natural preservatives to extend the shelf-life of foods. Moreover, this Special Issue aims to investigate the effects that pre- and post-harvest factors may have on the biocidal properties and chemical structures of extracts and essential oils. Methods for their extraction, purification, comprehensive profiling characterization, quantification, determination of health-promoting aspects, and food applications are within the scope of this issue. Reviews and research papers are equally welcome.

Dr. Nikos Tzortzakis
Dr. Charalampos Proestos
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plant-based products
  • essential oils
  • antioxidant/antimicrobial/cytogenic activity
  • functional food
  • biological and biochemical activity
  • biotic and abiotic challenges
  • preservation of fresh produce
  • biostimulants and eustress

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Botanical Oils Isolated from Simmondsia chinensis and Rosmarinus officinalis Cultivated in Northern Egypt: Chemical Composition and Insecticidal Activity against Sitophilus oryzae (L.) and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst)
by Rady Shawer, Mohamed Mahrous El-Shazly, Adel Mohamed Khider, Rowida S. Baeshen, Wafaa M. Hikal and Ahmed Mohamed Kordy
Molecules 2022, 27(14), 4383; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27144383 - 08 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2375
Abstract
The rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.), and the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), are key stored-product pests in Egypt and worldwide. The extensive use of synthetic insecticides has led to adverse effects on the environment, human health, and pest resistance. As a [...] Read more.
The rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.), and the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), are key stored-product pests in Egypt and worldwide. The extensive use of synthetic insecticides has led to adverse effects on the environment, human health, and pest resistance. As a result, environmentally friendly pest management alternatives are desperately required. The botanical oils of jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis (L.), and rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis L. plants growing in Egypt were extracted, identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and evaluated for their insecticidal activity against S. oryzae and T. castaneum. The main constituents identified in BOs were carvyl acetate (20.73%) and retinol (16.75%) for S. chinensis and camphor (15.57%), coumarin (15.19%), verbenone (14.82%), and 1,8-cineole (6.76%) for R. officinalis. The S. chinensis and R. officinalis BOs caused significant contact toxicities against S. oryzae and T. castaneum adults, providing LC50 values of 24.37, 68.47, and 11.58, 141.8 ppm at 3 days after treatment (DAT), respectively. S. chinensis oil exhibited significant fumigation toxicity against both insects; however, it was more effective against S. oryzae (LC50 = 29.52 ppm/L air) than against T. castaneum (LC50 = 113.47 ppm/L air) at 3 DAT. Although the essential oil (EO) of R. officinalis significantly showed fumigation toxicity for S. oryzae (LC50 = 256.1 and 0.028 ppm/L air at 1 and 3 DAT, respectively), it was not effective against T. castaneum. These BOs could be beneficial for establishing IPM programs for suppressing S. oryzae and T. castaneum. Full article
10 pages, 1134 KiB  
Communication
Characterization of Volatile Flavor Compounds in Supercritical Fluid Separated and Identified in Gurum (Citrulluslanatus Var. colocynthoide) Seed Oil Using HSME and GC–MS
by Emad Karrar, Isam A. Mohamed Ahmed, Wei Wei, Frederick Sarpong, Charalampos Proestos, Ryszard Amarowicz, Emel Oz, Aly Farag El Sheikha, Ayman Y. Allam, Fatih Oz and Xingguo Wang
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3905; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123905 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
In this study, the volatile compound profiles of gurum seed oil were determined using two methods: supercritical CO2 extraction (SFE) and the screw press process (SPP). For volatile compounds extraction and identification, headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) and GC–MS were used, respectively. A [...] Read more.
In this study, the volatile compound profiles of gurum seed oil were determined using two methods: supercritical CO2 extraction (SFE) and the screw press process (SPP). For volatile compounds extraction and identification, headspace solid-phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) and GC–MS were used, respectively. A total number of 56 volatile compounds were revealed and identified in oil extracted by SFE, while only 40 compounds were detected in extracted oil by SPP. Acids, aldehydes, esters, ketones, furans, and other components were present in the highest ratio in oil extracted by SFE. In contrast, alcohols and alkenes were found in the highest proportion in oil extracted by SPP. In this study, it was observed that SFE showed an increase in the amounts of volatile compounds and favorably impacted the aroma of gurum seed oil. The results reveal that different extraction methods significantly impact the volatile components of gurum seed oil, and this study can help evaluate the quality of the oil extracted from gurum seeds. Full article
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12 pages, 3345 KiB  
Article
Chemical Composition and Evaluation of Insecticidal Activity of Calendula incana subsp. maritima and Laserpitium siler subsp. siculum Essential Oils against Stored Products Pests
by Sara Basile, Natale Badalamenti, Ornella Riccobono, Salvatore Guarino, Vincenzo Ilardi, Maurizio Bruno and Ezio Peri
Molecules 2022, 27(3), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27030588 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 2761
Abstract
The problems of the environment and human health related to the use of synthetic and broad-spectrum insecticides have increasingly motivated scientific research on different alternatives and among these, the use of green systems, such as essential oils, have been explored. Several species of [...] Read more.
The problems of the environment and human health related to the use of synthetic and broad-spectrum insecticides have increasingly motivated scientific research on different alternatives and among these, the use of green systems, such as essential oils, have been explored. Several species of the Apiaceae and Asteraceae families, aromatic herbs rich in secondary bioactive metabolites, are used in the industrial field for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food purposes. Different essential oils extracted from some species of these families have shown acute toxicity and attractive and/or repellent effects towards different insects. In our work, we investigated the toxic potential of Calendula incana subsp. maritima and Laserpitium siler subsp. siculum essential oils against four insect species, Sitophilus oryzae, Lasioderma serricorne, Necrobia rufipes, and Rhyzoperta dominica, which are common pests of stored products. The composition of both oils, extracted by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of the two plants, was evaluated by GC×GC-MS. Calendula incana subsp. maritima essential oil was rich in oxygenated sesquiterpenoids, such as cubebol (35.39%), 4-epi-cubebol (22.99%), and cubenol (12.77%), while the Laserpitium siler subsp. siculum essential oil was composed mainly of monoterpene hydrocarbons, such as β-phellandrene (42.16%), limonene (23.87%), and β-terpinene (11.80%). The toxicity Petri dish bioassays indicated that C. maritima oil killed a mean of 65.50% of S. oryzae and 44.00% of R. dominica adults, indicating a higher biocidal activity in comparison with L. siculum oil, while toward the other species, no significant differences in mortality were recorded. Calendula maritima oil could be, then, considered a promising candidate for further tests as an alternative biocide toward S. oryzae and R. dominica. The possibility that the relatively high content of oxygenated sesquiterpenoids in C. maritima essential oil determines its higher biocidal activity is discussed. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 21218 KiB  
Review
Natural Plant Extracts: An Update about Novel Spraying as an Alternative of Chemical Pesticides to Extend the Postharvest Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables
by Muhammad Umar Shahbaz, Mehwish Arshad, Kinza Mukhtar, Brera Ghulam Nabi, Gulden Goksen, Małgorzata Starowicz, Asad Nawaz, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Noman Walayat, Muhammad Faisal Manzoor and Rana Muhammad Aadil
Molecules 2022, 27(16), 5152; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27165152 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 6832
Abstract
Fresh fruits and vegetables, being the source of important vitamins, minerals, and other plant chemicals, are of boundless importance these days. Although in agriculture, the green revolution was a milestone, it was accompanied by the intensive utilization of chemical pesticides. However, chemical pesticides [...] Read more.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, being the source of important vitamins, minerals, and other plant chemicals, are of boundless importance these days. Although in agriculture, the green revolution was a milestone, it was accompanied by the intensive utilization of chemical pesticides. However, chemical pesticides have hazardous effects on human health and the environment. Therefore, increasingly stimulating toward more eco-friendly and safer alternatives to prevent postharvest losses and lead to improving the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables. Proposed alternatives, natural plant extracts, are very promising due to their high efficacy. The plant-based extract is from a natural source and has no or few health concerns. Many researchers have elaborated on the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals on human life. People are now much more aware of safety and health concerns than ever before. In the present review, we discussed the latest research on natural alternatives for chemical synthetic pesticides. Considering that the use of plant-based extracts from aloe vera, lemongrass, or neem is non-chemical by-products of the fruits and vegetable industry, they are proved safe for human health and may be integrated with economic strategies. Such natural plant extracts can be a good alternative to chemical pesticides and preservatives. Full article
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