Supercritical fluid extraction of four aromatic herbs and assessment of the volatile compositions, bioactive compounds, antibacterial, and anti-biofilm activity


Artemisia arborescens, Artemisia abyssinica, Pulicaria jaubertii, and Pulicaria petiolaris are fragrant herbs traditionally used in medication and as a food seasoning. To date, there are no studies on the use of supercritical fluids extraction with carbon dioxide (SFE-CO2) on these plants. This study evaluates and compares total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity by DPPH and ABTS•+, antibacterial, and anti-biofilm activities of SFE-CO2 extracts. Extraction was done by SFE-CO2 with 10% ethanol as a co-solvent. A. abyssinica extract had the highest extraction yield (8.9% ± 0.41). The GC/MS analysis of volatile compounds identified 307, 265, 213, and 201compounds in A. abyssinica, A. arborescens, P. jaubertii, and P. petiolaris, respectively. The P. jaubertii extract had the highest TPC (662.46 ± 50.93 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dry extract), antioxidant activity (58.98% ± 0.20), and antioxidant capacity (71.78 ± 1.84 mg Trolox equivalent/g dry extract). The A. abyssinica and P. jaubertii extracts had significantly higher antimicrobial activity and were more effective against Gram-positive bacteria. B. subtilis was the most sensitive bacterium. P. aeruginosa was the most resistant bacterium. P. jaubertii extract had the optimum MIC and MBC (0.4 mg/ml) against B. subtilis. All SFE-CO2 extracts were effective as an anti-biofilm formation for all tested bacteria at 1/2 MIC. Meanwhile, P. jaubertii and P. petiolaris extracts were effective anti-biofilm for most tested bacteria at 1/16 MIC. Overall, the results indicated that the SFE-CO2 extracts of these plants are good sources of TPC, antioxidants, and antibacterial, and they have promising applications in the industrial fields.

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This work was supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) (2018GXZ018756), Key R&D Program of Jiangsu Province (BE2019362), Science and Technology Plan of Suzhou City (SS2019016), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Funded Project (2018 M642165), Science and Technology Project of Jiangsu Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision (KJ175923 and KJ185646), National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1602300), National First-class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology (JUFSTR20180509), The Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20171139), and Forestry Science and Technology Innovation and Extension Project of Jiangsu Province (No. LYKJ [2017] 26).

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Qais Ali Al-Maqtari: Conceptualization, methodology, software, validation, formal analysis, investigation, and writing - original draft; Waleed Al-Ansi: Writing - review and editing; Amer Ali Mahdi: Conceptualization, methodology, software, validation, and formal analysis; Adel Ali Saeed Al-Gheethi: Conceptualization, data curation, writing - review, and editing; Bilal Sajid Mushtaq: Methodology, software, and formal analysis; Abdulqader Aladeeb: Writing - review, and editing; Minping Wei: Methodology and software analysis; Weirong Yao: Conceptualization, validation, investigation, data curation, writing - review, and editing, visualization, supervision, project administration, and funding acquisition.

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Correspondence to Weirong Yao.

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Al-Maqtari, Q.A., Al-Ansi, W., Mahdi, A.A. et al. Supercritical fluid extraction of four aromatic herbs and assessment of the volatile compositions, bioactive compounds, antibacterial, and anti-biofilm activity. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021).

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  • Supercritical fluids extraction
  • Volatile compositions
  • Phenolic content
  • Antioxidant
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-biofilm