Antimicrobial, antioxidant and phytochemical investigation of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. edible fruit from Sudan
The methanol extract of the fruit (edible mesocarp) of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del., a popular plant from Sudan, widely employed in Sudanese folk medicine was screened for antimicrobial, antioxidant and some active phytochemical compounds. The extract showed the presence of saponin, terpenoids, phenolic compounds and alkaloids. The methanolic extract of the fruits extracted from B. aegyptiaca exhibited a strong antioxidant activity in the DPPH assay and a potent capacity in preventing linoleic acid oxidation. Methanol extracts (50 and 100 mg/ml) were tested on several microbial strains using agar-well diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bacterial concentration (MBC) and minimum fungal concentration (MFC) methods. These experiments were performed on ten bacterial strains (five Gram-positives and five Gram-negatives) and four fungal strains. Methanol extracts, particularly at concentration of 100 mg/ml was found to be active against all bacterial and fungal strains and it was comparable to standard antibiotics Gentamicin and Amphotericin B. These findings support some of the traditional applications of the fruit of B. aegyptiaca against microbial aliments. It is therefore recommended that further studies regarding fractionation, separation and purification of these active antimicrobial compounds are required, in addition to toxicological evaluation in vivo.
Key words: Balaneties aegyptiaca, antibacterial, antifungal, phytochemical, antioxidant, methanol extract.