Lemon myrtle shows remarkable functionality as an antimicrobial and antifungal product, showing effectiveness against a hospital isolate of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (1). Lemon myrtle shows a broad-spectrum activity against food borne human pathogens, common food spoilage bacteria and common food spoilage yeasts and moulds as well as high anti oxidant activity (2,3,6,7). As well as having potential in natural food preservation and as a natural surface cleaning agent, it is currently investigated in the biological control of post harvest diseases in fruits and vegetables (4,5). Lemon myrtle was found to have higher lutein content (6.56 mg/100g DW) than avocado (0.6-1.05mg/100g DW), which is considered to be a primary source of carotenoid important for eye health. It has demonstrated superior antioxidant activity in the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) test: (3359.87mol TEq/g DW) with the hydrophilic fraction contributing 56.2 % and the lipophilic fraction 45.8%, due to the high citral content and Vitamin E (21.2 mg/100g DW). A FRAP assay of the same product (1225.3+/-72.2 mol Fe +2/g DW) confirmed high antioxidant activity. Lemon myrtle is exceptionally rich in Ca and contains 71mg/100g DW Folate (8).
Certification: NASAA 4306P
Source: (1) Wilkinson, J.M., Cavanagh, H.M>A., Antibacterial activity of essential oils from Australian native plants, Phytotherapy Research, Volume 19, issue7, pp.643-646. (2) Huynh, T.V., 2008, Encapsulation of lemon myrtle oil and its biological functionalities, Institute School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, MPhil Thesis. (3) Zhao, Jian: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/NPP/07-030.pdf (4) Lazar Elena: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/research/updates/issues/november-2006/essential-oils-help-control-postharvest-disease (5) http://www.aciar.gov.au/project/AGB/2002/086 (6) Dupont, S., Caffin, N., Bhandari, B., and Dykes, GA. (2006) In vitro antibacterial activity of Australian native herb extracts against food-related bacteria. Food Control, 17 11: 929-932 (7) Huynh, T., Caffin, N.A., Dykes, G.A and Bhandari, B.R. (2008) Optimization of the Microencapsulation of Lemon Myrtle Oil Using Response Surface Methodology. Drying Technology, 26 3: 357-368 (8) Konczak, I., Zabaras, D., Dunstan, M., Aguas, P., Roulfe, R., Pavan, A., (2009) Health Benefits of Australian Native Foods, RIRDC Pub. No. 09/133.