Chemical composition and antioxidant, antimicrobial activities of the essential oils of Thymus marschallianus Will. and Thymus proximus Serg.J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb; 75(1):E59-65.JF
Chemical composition and antioxidant, antimicrobial activities of the essential oils from Thymus marschallianus Will. and Thymus proximus Serg. growing in the wild in Xinjiang were studied. Samples were collected from the aerial parts of the plants with simultaneous distillation-extraction apparatus. The yields ranged between 1.22%+/- 0.01 and 0.16%+/- 0.01 (weight/dry weight), respectively, 53 and 60 kinds of volatiles, representing 99.6% and 99.7% of the essential oils, respectively, were identified in extracts from T. marschallianus and T. proximus by GC/MS analysis. The main components were Thymol (28.0% to 32.9%), p-Cymene (7.7% to 25.4%), and gamma-Terpinene (18.0% to 22.4%). Antioxidant activities of the oils were evaluated using metal chelating, reductive potential, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, hydroxyl radical, and modified thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay. Antimicrobial activities of the oils were investigated on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, yeast, Rhizopus, and Penicillium. The inhibition zones (IZ) and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were 5.0 to 35.7 mm in diameter and 1.81 to 4.52 microL/mL, respectively.
Due to the economical impacts of spoiled foods and the consumer's concerns over the safety of foods, a lot of attention has been paid to naturally derived compounds. Fresh and dried Thymus species as well as their processed products have been widely used as flavorings since ancient times; however, during the last few decades, they also have become a subject for a search of natural antioxidants and antimicrobial agents. Biological activities of Thymus essential oils depend on their chemical composition, which is determined by the genotype and influenced by environmental conditions. Recent studies have showed that Thymus species have strong antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. To the best of our knowledge, the properties of Thymus species growing wild in the Xinjiang have not been reported before.