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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 762397, 10 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Antioxidant Activities of Safflower Natural Dyes during Flowering

1Laboratory of Bioactive Substances, Biotechnology Center in Borj-Cedria Technopol, BP 901, 2050 Hammam-Lif, Tunisia
2Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Via Muroni, 2307100 Sassari, Italy

Received 28 February 2014; Revised 16 May 2014; Accepted 23 May 2014; Published 22 June 2014

Academic Editor: Periasamy Anbu

Copyright © 2014 Nidhal Salem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Two Carthamus tinctorius varieties (Jawhara and 104) were studied in order to investigate their natural dyes contents and biological activities. Obtained results showed that quinochalcone contents and antioxidant activities varied considerably as function of flowering stages. So flowers at fructification stage contained the highest carthamin content with the strongest antioxidant capacity with all assays (FRAP, DPPH, and chelating power methods). In parallel, we showed a decrease in the content of precarthamin. The quantitative variation of these molecules could be due to colour change of C. tinctorius flowers. Correlation analysis indicated that the ABTS method showed the highest correlation coefficients with carthamin and precarthamin contents, that is, 0.886 and 0.973, respectively. Concerning the regional effect, the contents of precarthamin and carthamin varied significantly at studied regions with the optimum production given by samples of Beja (902.41 μg/g DW and 42.05 μg/g DW, respectively, at flowering stage). During flowering, the antimicrobial activity of these two natural dyes increased where the maximum inhibitory effect mentioned with carthamin mainly against E. coli (iz = 25.89 mm) at fructification stage. Therefore, the increased frequency of resistance to commonly used antibiotics leads to the search for new effective natural drugs at food and pharmaceutical industries.