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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9734181, 5 pages
Research Article

Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Palm Leaf Extracts from Babaçu (Attalea speciosa), Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), and Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata)

1Laboratório de Microbiologia Ambiental e Biotecnologia (LAMBIO), Universidade Federal do Tocantins, 77001-923 Palmas, TO, Brazil
2Centro de Estudos do Mar (CEM), Federal University of Paraná, 83255-976 Pontal do Paraná, PR, Brazil
3Laboratory of Basic and Health Sciences, Federal University of Tocantins, 77001-923 Palmas, TO, Brazil

Received 19 April 2016; Revised 14 June 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Rocio Maceiras

Copyright © 2016 Adriana Idalina Torcato de Oliveira 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.


Babaçu (A. speciosa), Buriti (M. flexuosa), and Macaúba (A. aculeata) are palm trees typical of the ecotone area between Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of the extracts prepared from the leaves of those palms as well as determine their chemical compositions. The ethanol extracts were prepared in a Soxhlet apparatus and tested by disk diffusion and agar dilution technique against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. However, there was no significant activity at concentrations of 25, 50, and 100 mg·Ml−1. Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, catechins, steroids, triterpenes, and saponins. Gas chromatography (GC/MS) analysis also identified organic acids, such as capric (decanoic) acid, lauric (dodecanoic) acid, myristic (tetradecanoic) acid, phthalic (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic) acid, palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid, stearic (octadecanoic) acid, linoleic (9,12-octadecadienoic) acid (omega-6), linolenic (octadecatrienoic) acid (omega-3), and the terpenes citronellol and phytol. Based on the chemical composition in the palm leaf extracts, the palms have the potential to be useful in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries.