Background: Fruit peels are considered as waste and contribute to a major proportion of the biomass. They can be a good source of various therapeutic benefits. Peels biomass of citrus fruits is usually considered as garbage. Such peels may have many important and valuable medicinal components with pharmacological activities. Citrus reticulata, (Rutaceae family, local name tangerine) is a local seasonal fruit in Pakistan, a very good example of wastage of its peels.
Objective: The study is based on the exploration of a citrus fruit peel derived essential oil, its chemical characterization, identification of various bioactive components and the exploration of pharmacological potentials (antibacterial and wound healing activity).
Methods: Essential oil was recovered by hydro-distillation of freshly collected peels. Chemical constituents of oil were determined by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis. Antioxidant activities were evaluated by total phenolic contents, total flavonoid content, DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power assay. Antibacterial activity was determined using disc diffusion assay. In vivo wound healing potential was determined in rabbits after topical administration of oil. Wound scoring was calculated followed by histological study.
Results: GC-MS analysis showed the presence of various components with the greatest proportion of D-Limonene (89.31%). Total flavonoid and phenolic contents were found to be 14.63 ± 0.95 mg CE/g and 17.03 ± 3.24 mg GAE/g respectively, while DPPH activity was found to be 73.32%. A better antibacterial activity was shown against E. coli. In vivo studies showed significant reduction in wound diameter in essential oil treatment groups. Further, the essential oil was found non-irritant in draize scoring.
Conclusion: The study concluded that essential oil of this fruit peel might be used for antibacterial and wound healing purposes.
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