Effects of citral against cancer, and against pathogens of humans and fruits

S. Ben-Yehoshua, R. Ofir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Previously, a new environmentally friendly, biocidal formulation had been prepared from the peel of citrus fruits with citral as one of its active biocidal agents. This formulation prevented the development of decay of Penicillium digitatum inoculated citrus and other fruits in experiments done in packing houses. Citral, 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-al, the active ingredient of this formulation is a component of the oil glands of lemons, other citrus fruits, lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrarus) and some other herbal plants. The major advantage of this biocidal formulation was that all of its components could be considered as a food additive, thus the formulation could be utilized for various food products, such as fresh cut produce, where many other biocides could not be used due to their relative toxicity. Additional advantages of citral lie in its recently established medical effects. Citral induced apoptosis in several hematopoietic cancer cell lines. The compound was found to kill cancer cells grown in cell culture, without affecting normal cells. The dose needed for this anticancer effect is equal to that found in a regular glass of tea prepared from one gram of lemongrass (44.5 mM), (Dudai et al., 2005).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActa Horticulturae
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789066056138
StatePublished - 11 Nov 2010

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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