Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum to Laurus nobilis essential oil and assessment on semolina quality

  • 4 Accesses


Cereal production has always been an important component of Tunisian agriculture. However, insect pests are considered as a serious biosecurity threat to Tunisian cereals’ production and industry. Several methods such as fumigation have been used in storage. However, their use is controverted due to human and environmental worries. The main objective of this study was to introduce an ecologically safe method for managing the rust–red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. The insecticidal activities of Laurus nobilis have been extensively investigated. Therefore, the L. nobilis leaf essential oil chemical composition, and its insecticidal activity against T. castaneum adults were evaluated. Thus, a preliminary screening tests were designed to assess fumigant toxicity of Laurus nobilis essential oil against T. castaneum adults and to determine median effective concentrations (LC50 value). A second experiment was aimed to test the impact of spaces occupation with semolina and the storage period on essential oil effectiveness. T. castaneum adults were treated with the LC50 concentration and mortalities were assessed after 30, and 60 days of storage under 50% and 100% spaces occupied with semolina. Furthermore, the qualitative contamination of semolina by T. castaneum and the effect of essential oil on semolina characteristics and rheological dough properties were elucidated. Results indicated that the oil exhibited strong fumigant potentialities that depend on the exposure period and percentage of space occupation. The LT50 values for T. castaneum ranged from 70.48 h for 50% space occupation with semolina to 43.44 h for 100% space occupation with semolina. Moreover, we investigated the essential oil impact on semolina characteristics (protein, ash, gluten, and moisture) and rheological dough. Results indicated that the oil exhibited strong fumigant potentialities that depend on the exposure period and percentage of space occupation. It was also revealed that essential oil treatment slightly modified semolina characteristics but did not affect rheological properties that still conformed with ISO standards. The results of this study can be interested in further phytochemical and insecticidal activities of L. nobilis essential oil as alternative fumigants for control of stored semolina without negative effect on the quality of semolina.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Abbott WS (1925) A method of computing the effectiveness of an insecticide. J Econ Entomol 18:265–267

  2. AOAC (1984) Official method of analysis, 14th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, DC, USA

  3. Arregui L, Quemada M (2008) Strategies to improve nitrogen use efficiency in winter cereal crops under rainfed conditions. Agron J 100:277–284

  4. Arthur FH (2015) Residual efficacy of pyrethrin+ methoprene for control of Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum in a commercial flour mill. J Stored Prod Res 64:42–44

  5. Bachta M (2011) L'Agriculture tunisienne: performances et menaces de non durabilité Institut arabe des chefs d’entreprise

  6. Bakkali F, Averbeck S, Averbeck D, Idaomar M (2008) Biological effects of essential oils–a review. Food Chem Toxicol 46:446–475

  7. Blandino M, Marinaccio F, Ingegno BL, Vaccino P, Tavella L, Reyneri A (2015) Evaluation of common and durum wheat rheological quality through Mixolab® analysis after field damage by cereal bugs. Field Crop Res 179:95–102

  8. Boxall R (2001) Post-harvest losses to insects—a world overview. Int Biodeter Biodegr 48:137–152

  9. Bruinsma J (2017) World agriculture: towards 2015/2030: an FAO study. Routledge

  10. Chang Y, McLandsborough L, McClements DJ (2015) Fabrication, stability and efficacy of dual-component antimicrobial nanoemulsions: essential oil (thyme oil) and cationic surfactant (lauric arginate). Food Chem 172:298–304

  11. Chaudhry M (2000) Posphine resistance. Pesticide Outlook 11:88–91

  12. Finney DJ (1971) Probit analysis, 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press, London

  13. Foca G, Ulrici A, Corbellini M, Pagani MA, Lucisano M, Franchini GC, Tassi L (2007) Reproducibility of the Italian ISQ method for quality classification of bread wheats: An evaluation by expert assessors. J Sci Food Agric 87:839–846

  14. Gaaloul I, Riabi S, Ellouz Ghorbel R (2011) Implementation of ISO 22000 in cereal food industry “SMID” in Tunisia. Food Control 22:59–66

  15. Hamdi Haouel S, Hedjal-Chebheb M, Kellouche A, Khouja ML, Boudabous A, JMB J (2015) Management of three pests’ population strains from Tunisia and Algeria using Eucalyptus essential oils. Ind Crops Prod 74:551–556

  16. Jarraya A (2003) Principaux Nuisibles des Plantes Cultivées et des Denrées Stockées en Afrique du Nord; leur Biologie, leurs Ennemis Naturels, leurs Dégâts et leur Contrôle. Edition Climat pub edn.,

  17. Karababa E, Ozan AN (1998) Effect of wheat bug (Eurygaster integriceps) damage on quality of a wheat variety grown in Turkey. J Sci Food Agric 77:399–403

  18. Karabörklü S, Ayvaz A, Yilmaz S (2010) Bioactivities of different essential oils against the adults of two stored product insects. Pak J Zool 42(6)

  19. Kivçak B, Mert T (2002) Preliminary evaluation of cytotoxic properties of Laurus nobilis leaf extracts. Fitoterapia 73:242–243

  20. Korunic Z, Rozman V (2008) Fumigacija cineolom in vitro (Fumigation with cineole essential oil in vitro). In: Proceedings of Croatian Seminar DDD and ZUPP, 2008. p 193e203

  21. Latiri K, Lhomme J-P, Annabi M, Setter TL (2010) Wheat production in Tunisia: progress, inter-annual variability and relation to rainfall. Eur J Agron 33:33–42

  22. Mediouni Ben Jemâa J, Tersim N, Toudert KT, Khouja ML (2012) Insecticidal activities of essential oils from leaves of Laurus nobilis L. from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, and comparative chemical composition. J Stored Prod Res 48:97–104

  23. Mediouni Ben Jemâa J, Haouel S, Khouja ML (2013) Efficacy of Eucalyptus essential oils fumigant control against Ectomyelois ceratoniae (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) under various space occupation conditions. J Stored Prod Res 53:67–71

  24. Nicolopoulou-Stamati P, Maipas S, Kotampasi C, Stamatis P, Hens L (2016) Chemical pesticides and human health: the urgent need for a new concept in agriculture. Front Public Health 4:148

  25. Özcan MM (2009) Effect of some essential oils on rheological properties of wheat flour dough. Int J Food Sci Nutr 60:176–181

  26. Ozderen T, Olanca B, Sanal T, Ozay DS, Koksel H (2008) Effects of suni-bug (Eurygaster spp.) damage on semolina properties and spaghetti quality characteristics of durum wheats (Triticum durum L.). J Cereal Sci 48:464–470

  27. Papachristos D, Stamopoulos D (2002) Repellent, toxic and reproduction inhibitory effects of essential oil vapours on Acanthoscelides obtectus (say)(Coleoptera: Bruchidae). J Stored Prod Res 38:117–128

  28. Pimentel MA, Faroni LRDA, da Silva FH, Batista MD, Guedes RN (2010) Spread of phosphine resistance among Brazilian populations of three species of stored product insects. Neotrop Entomol 39:101–107

  29. Rozman V, Korunić Z, Kalinović I (2008) Effect of different quantities of wheat on the effectiveness of the essential oil cineole against stored grain insect pests. In: CAF 2008-Controlled Atmosphere and Fumigation-Green, Safe, Harmony and Development

  30. Saade ME (1996) Adoption and impact of high yielding wheat varieties in northern Tunisia. CIMMYT, economics working paper 96-03. CIMMYT, Mexico

  31. Saeed Mohammad O, Ali W, Tais Al-Hulitan A-M (2012) The effect of infestation by the confused flour beetle (Tribolium Confusum Duv.) on specifications of wheat flour vol 2

  32. Shaaya E, Kostjukovski M, Eilberg J, Sukprakarn C (1997) Plant oils as fumigants and contact insecticides for the control of stored-product insects. J Stored Prod Res 33:7–15

  33. Shakoori AR, Saleem MA, Mantle D (1998) Some macromolecular abnormalities induced by a sublethal dose of Cymbush 10EC in adult beetles of Tribolium castaneum. Pak J Zool (Pakistan) 30:83–90

  34. Singh S, Prakash S (2013) Development of resistance in Tribolium castaneum, Herbst (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) towards deltamethrin in laboratory. Int J Sci Res Publ 3:1–4

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Soumaya Haouel-Hamdi.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Haouel-Hamdi, S., Hamedou, M.B., Bachrouch, O. et al. Susceptibility of Tribolium castaneum to Laurus nobilis essential oil and assessment on semolina quality. Int J Trop Insect Sci (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42690-020-00119-6

Download citation


  • Laurus nobilis
  • Space occupation
  • Semolina characteristics
  • Tribolium castaneum
  • Rheological properties