Thursday, December 02, 2010
Food Chemistry, Article in Press
Seventeen Maltese propolis samples were studied by GC-MS after silylation.
They exhibited the typical Mediterranean chemical profile, rich in diterpene compounds (18 – 92% of TIC, GC-MS): 32 individual diterpenes were identified; 22 of them were present in each specimen. The other abundant compound group was that of sugars and sugar derivatives.
In some samples, however, another compound group was observed (0 – 12% of TIC, GC-MS); the corresponding mass spectra were consistent with mono- and sesquiterpenyl esters of substituted benzoic acids. Two new propolis constituents of this group, daucane diterpene esters of hydroxybenzoic acids, were isolated. Their origin is suggested to be Ferula communis, as they are taxonomic markers for this species.
All propolis samples were active against Staphylococcus aureus but only those with high concentrations of terpenyl esters showed antifungal activity against Candida albicans. The present results confirm that Mediterranean propolis is a valuable natural product with potential to improve human health.