Antifungal Activities of Cymbopogon citratus Essential Oil against Aspergillus Species Isolated from Fermented Fish Products of Southern Benin
Background: In Benin Republic, the conservation of fermented fishes for a long time is difficult due to the contamination of fungi, which lead to its rapid degradation. This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of Cymbopogon citratus Essential Oil (EO) against Aspergillus species isolated from fermented fish samples. Methods: Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to determinate the chemical composition of the C. citratus EO. The agar dilution method was used to evaluate the antifungal activity of the C. citratus EO against Aspergillus species. Data were analyzed using SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA, version 10.0. Results: The major components of C. citratus EO were geranial (41.3%), neral (33.0%), myrcene (10.4%), and geraniol (6.6%). The dominant Aspergillus fungi isolated from the fermented fish samples were A. ochraceus, A. oryzae, A. fumigatus, and A. parasiticus. C. citratus EO exhibited considerable antifungal activity against the growth of fungi isolated from fermented fish samples. There was no significant difference between minimal inhibitory concentrations and minimal fungicidal concentrations of A. ochraceus and A. parasiticus (p>0.05). Conclusion: The findings of this research clearly indicate that the C. citratus EO may be a practical application in controlling the growth of Aspergillus species in fermented fish.