Laurus azorica: valorization through its phytochemical study and biological activities

Viveiros, M.M., Barreto, M.C. & Seca, A.M.L. (2022) Laurus azorica: valorization through its phytochemical study and biological activities.

Separations, 9(8), e211. DOI:10.3390/separations9080211 (IF2022 2,6; Q2 Chemistry, Analytical)
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  • Dec, 2022


Laurus azorica (Seub.) Franco is an endemic species from the Azores, traditionally used in all the islands as a seasoning in cooking. The studies carried out with this species refer mainly to its essential oils. The study that was developed here allowed, for the first time, to determine the chemical composition and biological activities of the ethanol extract, fractions, and pure compounds from L. azorica. The hexane fraction was analyzed by GC–MS and revealed the presence of 48 compounds, comprising mainly fatty acids, fatty alcohols and terpenes, the family of fatty alcohols identified here for the first time in the genus Laurus. Three sesquiterpene lactones—costunolide, 11,13-dehydrosantonin and reynosin—were isolated for the first time in L. azorica from the same fraction, and structurally characterized using spectroscopic techniques. The compounds identified belong to families known to have relevant medicinal and nutritional properties. Regarding antioxidant activities, the results obtained showed a moderate radical scavenging effect of extracts and fractions, while in the β-carotene bleaching assay, costunolide was shown to be the most active (IC50 = 4.08 ± 0.76 μg/mL), about 3.6 times more active than the standard, gallic acid, which presented IC50 = 14.56 ± 0.13 μg/mL. Although the inhibition of extracellular matrix-degrading enzymes was not detected, the ethanol extract showed good inhibitory activity of tyrosinase, with an IC50 of 12.04 ± 0.23 μg/mL, only 6.6-fold lower than the control kojic acid. The results presented deepen the knowledge about a little studied species, opening new perspectives for the development of value-added applications in the food and cosmeceutical fields.