Food Control, 145, 109474, 2023
Our study was aimed to evaluate antifungal, antiaflatoxin, and antioxidant potential of Mentha pulegium, Myrtus communis, and Mentha piperita essential oils (EOs). The EOs showed efficacy as a couscous preservative. A total of 387 fungal species were isolated from Couscous samples, with Aspergillus flavus BN (20) which is identified as the highest aflatoxin producer. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of M. pulegium and M. communis EOs against the toxigenic strain of A. flavus BN (20) determined to be 4.00 μL/mL, whereas the MIC of M. piperita was 3.50 μL/mL. The EOs inhibited the aflatoxin B1 production at lower concentrations. The EOs showed fungitoxicity against wide-ranging of fungi and high antioxidant activity. The IC50 value of the oils ranged between 3.27 and 4.31 μL/mL. EOs may be able to contribute preservation of food commodities against quantitative and qualitative losses. During fumigation assays in Algerian traditional food system (Couscous), the three EOs showed protection of Couscous from A. flavus contamination indicating their efficacy as sustainable fumigant in food systems.