Garlic, known under its botanical name Allium sativum, is a widely distributed plant originating from the Middle Asia. A garlic cell contains free dispersed substance alliin in the cytosol, having no antibacterial effect, and an enzyme alliinase, which is physically separated in vacuoles. When the garlic bulb cell is mechanically damaged, a rapid enzymatic reaction takes place. The product of this enzymatic reaction is a sulfur containing molecule allicin. Allicin is a volatile, reactive compound with strong antibacterial potential, however it has a relatively short half life.
The aim of this work is to stabilize and encapsulate allicin extracted from crude fresh garlic. Bio compatible polymers (PEG, methylcellulose, alginate) were tested for the stabilization of allicin extract at 4 and 25 °C. Time-dependent UV/VIS spectroscopy was used for measuring the concentration of allicin. The antibacterial potencial of garlic extracts with polymeric additives was studied on a bacterial culture (E. coli, S. aureus). The encapsulation of allicin to prevent its degradation was also investigated.
The conclusion of the study is that polymer additives have the potential to improve the stability of allicin (garlic extract) particularly at 4 °C. This finding will be used for the design of microcapsules containing allicin.
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