Inderscience Publishers

Effects of air pollution on production of essential oil in Feijoa Sellowiana Berg. grown in the 'Italian Triangle of Death'

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The composition of the essential oils of fruits from Feijoa sellowiana grown in the district of Acerra is compared with those collected from unpolluted sites. Essential oils from the fruits of F. sellowiana were analysed by GC/MS. Sixty compounds, representing 96.6% and 97.8% (unpolluted site and Acerra site, respectively) of the oils, were identified. The major constituents were β-caryophyllene (12.4% and 16.8%), ledene (9.6% and 11.1%), α-humulene (6.3% and 8.2%), β-elemene (4.9% and 5.3%) and δ-cadinene (4.7% and 5.2%) in the control site and Acerra site, respectively. The antioxidant components were increased in response to polluted condition. The acetonic extracts of F. sellowiana from both sites were purified to obtain flavone, the compound responsible for antitumoral and antioxidant activity. The amount of the antioxidant flavone was higher in the Acerra site than the control site. Measuring the amounts of these metabolites could represent a new methodology for monitoring air pollution.

Keywords: Feijoa sellowiana, essential oils, oil composition, beta-caryophyllene, Acerra, biomonitoring, air pollution, air quality, metabolites, Italy

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