Essential oils help control fungus growth in Argentinian corn

Argentina is the second highest corn producing country in the world. But because of the slow drying process in corn kernels and wet weather conditions in Argentina, corn grown there can easily become infected with fungus. A new study in the Journal of Food Science published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) found that the essential oils from oregano can have an antifungal effect on corn.

Generally, fungicide is controlled with the use of synthetic chemicals.  However, it may require greater synthetic chemical usage as resistant strains of pathogens increase. Essential oils are an alternative strategy to controlling the growth of fungus without a negative impact. Since only small amounts of oils are needed, they have a low toxicity to animals and they do not remain in water or soil for a long time (Isman, 2000).

Oregano proved to be the best antifungal agent because of the presence of thymol, but oils of peppermints and suico grown in Argentina may also be used as a natural alternative to control the presence of postharvest fungi in corn.


Explore further

Preserving bread longer: A new edible film made with essential oils

More information: Camiletti, B. X., Asensio, C. M., Pecci, M. d. l. P. G. and Lucini, E. I. (2014), Natural Control of Corn Postharvest Fungi Aspergillus flavus and Penicillium sp. "Using Essential Oils from Plants Grown in Argentina." Journal of Food Science, 79: M2499–M2506. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12700
Journal information: Journal of Food Science

Citation: Essential oils help control fungus growth in Argentinian corn (2014, December 17) retrieved 24 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-essential-oils-fungus-growth-argentinian.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more