Chemical composition and antifungal activity of Piper capense oil against mycotoxigenic Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium species

  • JC Matasyoh
  • IN Wagara
  • JL Nakavuma
  • R Chepkorir


Hydro-distilled essential oil from Piper capense (L. f.) growing in Kenya was analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and evaluated for antifungal activity. The oil was dominated by sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (43.9%) with δ-cadinene (16.82%), b-bisabolene (5.65%) and bicyclogermacrene (3.30%). There was appreciable quantity of monoterpene hydrocarbons (30.64%) including b-pinene (7.24%) and α-phellandrene (4.76%). Arylpropanoids (8.64%) was found in reasonable quantity having myristicin (4.26%) as its major constituent. A total of ten, fourteen and sixteen mycotoxigenic species of Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium respectively were assayed. The oil showed strong antifungal activity against these fungi with Minimum Inhibition Concentration (MIC) ranging from 33.1 to 265 mg/ml. These results show that the oil has antifungal activities against fungi that are producers of poisonous mycotoxins found in foods and therefore can be used in food preservation systems to inhibit the growth of moulds and retard subsequent mycotoxin production.

Keywords: Essential oil, inhibition zone, moulds, mycotoxigenic fungi.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1997-342X
print ISSN: 1991-8631