Phytochemical screening and anti-microbial and anti-oxidant studies of tamarind (Tamarindus indica) seed coat
T Sravanthi, Kavita Waghray, D Subba Rao
Tamarindus indica L. of the family Fabaceae is a plant that is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of cold, fever, stomach disorder, diarrhea and jaundice and as skin cleanser. To evaluate the scientific basis for the use of the plant, the antimicrobial activities of extracts of the seed coat were evaluated against some common gram negative and gram positive bacteria and fungi. The study also investigated the chemical constituents of the plant and the effect of temperature and pH on its antimicrobial activity. The phytochemical constituents of the dried powdered plant parts were extracted using aqueous and organic solvents (acetone and ethanol). The antimicrobial activity of the concentrated extracts was evaluated by determination of the diameter of zone of inhibition against both gram negative and gram positive bacteria using the paper disc diffusion method. Results of the phytochemical studies revealed the presence of tannins, saponins, sesquiterpenes, alkaloids and tri terpinoidal saponins and the extracts were active against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. The extracts were evaluated for their antimicrobial activity which can be used as an alternative source of artificial antimicrobials in food. The ethanolic extracts of the seed coat were also tested for its antioxidant activity against BHT an artificial antioxidant for its use as an alternative source of artificial antioxidants to prevent lipid oxidation in foods.