Molecules (2021-04-01)

Suggestions on the Contribution of Methyl Eugenol and Eugenol to Bay Laurel (<i>Laurus nobilis</i> L.) Essential Oil Preservative Activity through Radical Scavenging

  • Nikolaos Nenadis,
  • Maria Papapostolou,
  • Maria Z. Tsimidou

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 26, no. 2342
p. 2342


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The present study examined the radical scavenging potential of the two benzene derivatives found in the bay laurel essential oil (EO), namely methyl eugenol (MEug) and eugenol (Eug), theoretically and experimentally to make suggestions on their contribution to the EO preservative activity through such a mechanism. Calculation of appropriate molecular indices widely used to characterize chain-breaking antioxidants was carried out in the gas and liquid phases (n-hexane, n-octanol, methanol, water). Experimental evidence was based on the DPPH• scavenging assay applied to pure compounds and a set of bay laurel EOs chemically characterized with GC-MS/FID. Theoretical calculations suggested that the preservative properties of both compounds could be exerted through a radical scavenging mechanism via hydrogen atom donation. Eug was predicted to be of superior efficiency in line with experimental findings. Pearson correlation and partial least square regression analyses of the EO antioxidant activity values vs. % composition of individual volatiles indicated the positive contribution of both compounds to the radical scavenging activity of bay laurel EOs. Eug, despite its low content in bay laurel EOs, was found to influence the most the radical scavenging activity of the latter.