Research Article

Antimicrobial activity of fermented Theobroma cacao pod husk extract

Published: September 26, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (3) : 7725-7735 DOI: 10.4238/2014.September.26.10

Abstract

Theobroma cacao L. contains more than 500 different chemical compounds some of which have been traditionally used for their antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulatory, vasodilatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial activities. Spontaneous aerobic fermentation of cacao husks yields a crude husk extract (CHE) with antimicrobial activity. CHE was fractioned by solvent partition with polar solvent extraction or by silica gel chromatography and a total of 12 sub-fractions were analyzed for chemical composition and bioactivity. CHE was effective against the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the basidiomycete Moniliophthora perniciosa. Antibacterial activity was determined using 6 strains: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Bacillus subtilis (Gram-positive) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Salmonella choleraesuis (Gram-negative). At doses up to 10 mg/mL, CHE was not effective against the Gram-positive bacteria tested but against medically important P. aeruginosa and S. choleraesuis with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 5.0 mg/mL. Sub-fractions varied widely in activity and strongest antibacterial activity was seen with CHE8 against S. choleraesuis (MIC of 1.0 mg/mL) and CHE9 against S. epidermidis (MIC of 2.5 mg/mL). All bioactive CHE fractions contained phenols, steroids, or terpenes, but no saponins. Fraction CHE9 contained flavonoids, phenolics, steroids, and terpenes, amino acids, and alkaloids, while CHE12 had the same compounds but lacked flavonoids.

Theobroma cacao L. contains more than 500 different chemical compounds some of which have been traditionally used for their antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulatory, vasodilatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial activities. Spontaneous aerobic fermentation of cacao husks yields a crude husk extract (CHE) with antimicrobial activity. CHE was fractioned by solvent partition with polar solvent extraction or by silica gel chromatography and a total of 12 sub-fractions were analyzed for chemical composition and bioactivity. CHE was effective against the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the basidiomycete Moniliophthora perniciosa. Antibacterial activity was determined using 6 strains: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Bacillus subtilis (Gram-positive) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Salmonella choleraesuis (Gram-negative). At doses up to 10 mg/mL, CHE was not effective against the Gram-positive bacteria tested but against medically important P. aeruginosa and S. choleraesuis with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 5.0 mg/mL. Sub-fractions varied widely in activity and strongest antibacterial activity was seen with CHE8 against S. choleraesuis (MIC of 1.0 mg/mL) and CHE9 against S. epidermidis (MIC of 2.5 mg/mL). All bioactive CHE fractions contained phenols, steroids, or terpenes, but no saponins. Fraction CHE9 contained flavonoids, phenolics, steroids, and terpenes, amino acids, and alkaloids, while CHE12 had the same compounds but lacked flavonoids.