The Importance of Being Impatiens

The Importance of Being Impatiens

Author: Melania Tesio

Natural antioxidants and antimicrobials are used as food additives to prevent food deterioration caused by polyunsatured fatty acid oxidation and pathogenic microorganisms growth. Various organs of Impatiens balsamina L, an ornamental plant belonging to the Balsamineaceae family, contain quinines, peptides, flavonoids and coumarins endowed with antifungal, antibacterial and antidermatitic activities. The properties associated with stems were, however, largely unknown.

Bu-Li Su, Jiangxi Agricultural University, China, and colleagues discovered that the stems of this plant are a reservoir of antioxidant and antimicrobial agents. The team showed that different solvent extracts of the stems possess moderate antioxidant properties and display an antimicrobial activity against various mould, yeast, fungal and bacterial strains such as Aspergillus, Saccharomyces and Staphylococcus which are responsible for food related disease or food deterioration.

Based on these results, Impatiens balsamina L. stems extracts could be used in food industry as novel preservatives.

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