Efficacy of Crude Extract from Candle Brush (Senna didymobotrya) Leaves against Aspergillus niger in Reduction of Post-harvest Losses in Tomatoes

Main Article Content

C. A. Orwa
L. G. Njue


Background: Senna didymobotrya grows naturally in East Africa and is commonly used to treat microbial infections by African communities due to the presence of various phytochemicals such as alkaloids, terpenoid, anthraquinones, tannins, saponins, phenols and flavonoids.

Objective:  This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the crude extract of candle brush (Senna didymobotrya) leaves against Aspergillus niger in the reduction of post-harvest losses in tomatoes.

Methods: A completely randomised design with two treatments, each replicated six times was used. In this study. Dried leaves were ground into a fine powder and extracted using the Soxhlet apparatus with 100% methanol. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of the extract were determined against Aspergillus niger. The shelf life of tomatoes was determined by spraying the extract reconstituted in water at 0.4 g/ml and further analysed the total viable counts at three-day intervals and checking for the growth of mould, colour changes and odours as indicators of spoilage.

Results: After extraction 22 g of the crude extract was obtained from the dried leaves The MIC and MFC of the methanol crude extract against Aspergillus niger were 0.04 g/ml. The shelf life of the treated tomatoes was 14 days while for the untreated was 9 days. T-test results at (P0.05) showed a significant difference between the treated and untreated samples based on the total viable counts.

Conclusion: The crude extract of the candle brush inhibited the growth of Aspergillus niger in fresh tomatoes and also prolonged the shelf life of tomatoes for 14 days.  Further studies should be done to evaluate the market acceptability of the tomatoes.

Methanol, food security, shelf life, Soxhlet.

Article Details

How to Cite
Orwa, C., & Njue, L. (2019). Efficacy of Crude Extract from Candle Brush (Senna didymobotrya) Leaves against Aspergillus niger in Reduction of Post-harvest Losses in Tomatoes. Asian Food Science Journal, 10(2), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.9734/afsj/2019/v10i230029
Original Research Article


Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Economic Survey Report; 2018.

Abdullahi MS. Screening of tomatoes and onion for trace metals from irrigated farmlands on the bank of river chalaza, northern Nigeria M.sc dissertation, department of chemistry, ABU Zaria Nigeria; 2008.

Agte VV, Tarwadi KV, Mengale S, Chiplonkar SA. Potential traditionally cooked green leafy vegetables as natural sources for supplementation of eight micronutrients in vegetarian diet. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2000;13: 885-891.

Clinton S. Lycopene: Chemistry, biology and implication for human health and disease. Nutrition Reviews. 1998;56(2): 35-51.

Mutuku M, Njogu P, Nyagah G. Assessment of pesticide use and application practices in tomato-based agro- ecosystems in Kaliluni sub location, Kathiani district, Kenya. Journal of Agri-culture Science and Technology. 2014; 16(2):34-44.

Pozo C, Rodelas B, Salmeron V, Martinez‐ Toledo MV, Vela GR, Gonzalez‐Lopez J. Effects of fungicides maneb and mancozeb on soil microbial populations. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry. 1994;43:3-4, 123-132.

Jeruto P, Arama PF, Anyango B, Maroa G. Phytochemical screening and antibacterial investigations of crude methanol extracts of Senna didymobotrya (Fresen.) Irwin HS, Barneby. Journal of Applied Biosciences. 2017;114:11357-11367.

Ngule CM, Anthoney TS, Obey JK. Phyto-chemical and bioactivity evaluation of Senna didymobotrya Fresen Irwin used by the Nandi community in Kenya. Inter-national Journal of Bioassays. 2014;2(07): 1037-1043.

Kareru PG, Kenji GM, Gachanja AN, Keriko JM, Mungai G. Traditional medicines among the Embu and Mbeere peoples of Kenya. Africa Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2007;4(1):75-86.

Musila MF, Nguta MJ, Lukhoba WC, Dossaji SF. Antibacterial and antifungal activities of 10 Kenyan Plectranthus species in the Coleus clade. Journal of Pharmacy Research. 2017;11(8):1003-1015.

Kitonde KC, Fidahusein D, Lukhoba WC, Jumba MM. Antimicrobial activity and phytochemical screening of Senna didymobotrya used to treat bacterial and fungal infections in Kenya. International Journal of Education and Research. 2014; 2(1):1-1.

Heijden K, Younes M. Fishbe. International food safety handbook. Science inter-national regulation and control. Publisher Marcel Dekker, INC.270 Madison Avenue, New York. 1990;549-563

Mbajiuka S, Enya C. Isolation of Micro-organisms associated with deterioration of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and pawpaw (Carica papaya) fruits. Inter-national Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences. 2014;3(5):501-512.

Mashak Z, Longroodi AM, Ehsani A, Fathabad AE, Ilkhanipoor A. Micro-biological quality of ready-to-eat foods of Tehran province. African Journal of Food Science. 2015;9(5):257-261.

Singh BR, Sinha DK, Kumar VOR. Effect of herbal antimicrobials on bacterial strains of foods of vegetable and animal origin. Journal of Food Chemistry and Nanotechnology. 2016;2(3):115- 123.

Florez-Lopez ML, Cerqueira MA, de Rodriguez DJ, Vicente AA. Laminate coatings for extension of postharvest storage of fruits and vegetables. Food Engineering Reviews. 2016 ;8(3):292-305.

Artes F, Conesa MA, Hernandez S, Gill MI. Keeping quality of fresh-cut tomato. Journal of Post-Harvest Biology and Technology. 1999;17(3):153-162.

Nurudeen OO, Adetayo OM, Olatunde OA, Olufunmilayo LA. Shelf-life extension of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) and pepper (Capsicum annuum) using aqueous extracts of some ethnomedicinal plants. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology. 2007;1939-1250:806-810.

Bhagwat MK, Datar AG. Enhancement of shelf life of tomatoes by postharvest herbal treatment, during storage under ambient conditions. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection. 2014;47(10):1262- 1273.

Gulhane PA, Shukla NG, Gomashe AV. Natural plant extracts: A novel therapy for shelf life extension and quality retention of fruits. International Journal of Engineering Sciences and Research Technology. 2018; 7(1):344-350.

Singh Y, Yadav YK. Effect of different storage environment on quality characteristics of tomato and kinnow fruits. CIGR Journal. 2015;17(1):238-246.

Rawat S. Food spoilage: Microorganisms and their prevention. Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research. 2015;5(4):47-56.