Biogenic synthesis of gold nanoparticles from waste watermelon and their antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis
Keywords:Antibacterial, Food waste, Gold nanoparticles, Green chemistry, Watermelon
Background: Globally, large quantities (tonnes) of diverse sources of food wastes derived from horticulture are produced and offer a valuable renewable source of biochemical compounds. Developing new recycling and food waste utilisation strategies creates unique opportunities for producing gold (Au) nanoparticles with desirable antibacterial properties. The present study used an eco-friendly procedure for biologically synthesizing gold (Au) nanoparticle shapes from waste Citrullis lanatus var (watermelon).
Methods: The green chemistry-based procedure used in this study was straightforward and used both red and green parts of waste watermelon. The generated Au nanoparticles were subsequently evaluated using several advanced characterization techniques. The antibacterial properties of the various extracts and synthesised nanoparticles were evaluated using the Kirby-Bauer sensitivity method.
Results: The advanced characterization techniques revealed the Au particles ranged in size from nano (100 nm) up micron (2.5 µm) and had a variety of shapes. The red watermelon extract tended to produce spheres and hexagonal plates, while the green watermelon extract tended to generate triangular shaped nanoparticles. Both red and green watermelon extracts produced nanoparticles with similar antibacterial properties. The most favourable response was achieved using a 5:1 green watermelon-based mixture for Staphylococcus epidermidis, which produced a maximum inhibition zone of 12 mm. While gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli produced a maximum inhibition zone of 10 mm for the same mixture.
Conclusions: The study has shown both red and green parts of waste watermelon can be used to produce Au nanoparticles with antibacterial activity towards both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The study has also demonstrated an alternative method for producing high-value Au nanoparticles with potential pharmaceutical applications.
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