Chemical composition and in vitro antioxidant activities of Thymelaea hirsuta L. essential oil from Tunisia
This study was designed to examine for the first time, the chemical composition and in vitro antioxidant activities of the essential oil obtained from the aerial parts of Thymelaea hirsuta L. The essential oil was subjected to hydrodistillation and was analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. The chemical composition was dominated by the presence of hydrocarbon sesquiterpenes (26.91%) with germacrene D (12.98%) as the major component, while oxygenated sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes amounted to 13.82 and 13.29%, respectively. The antioxidant properties of the studied essential oil were determined by three methods: diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, -carotene bleaching assay and reducing power test and the results were compared to the reference BHT (butyl hydroxy toluene). In the three earlier mentioned assays, the essential oil demonstrated a potential antioxidant which may be considered as potent agent in food preservation and drug discovery.
Key words: Thymelaea hirsuta, essential oil, antioxidant activities.