Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) kernels were assessed for their chemical composition, phenolics, antioxidant capacity, inhibiting lipid peroxidation and antibacterial activity against some pathogenic Gram-positive (Listeria monocytogenes, Staph. saprophyticus) and Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli, Salmonella enteric). Kernels from four cultivars Shishi, Menaify, Barhee and Khulas were used in this study, Phenolic compounds ranged from 740 to 1200 mg/100g in Menaify and Khulas cultivars, respectively. Ethanol extract of date kernels showed high antioxidant capacity against 1, 1-diphenyl-2 picryl hydrazyl from all tested cultivars with means of 88.88% at 500ppm and strong reducing power at concentration of 200ppm. Lipid peroxidation inhibition was recorded for all tested cultivars with means of 90.2% inhibition. Ethanol extract of date kernels was effective against Listeria monocytogenes, Staph. saprophyticus, Salmonella enteric but not against E. coli. Date kernels were more effective in inhibiting growth of Staph. saprophyticus bacteria than antibiotic chloramphenicol in this study. The results revealed that date kernels extract may have a good potential role in preventing the free radical species in food systems as well as the antibacterial role against some pathogenic bacteria.
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