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Antibacterial activity of some essential oil components against five food borne pathogens

By J. Kim, M.R. Marshall and Cheng I Wei as published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 1995.


Scientific research shows evidence of antibacterial activity of 11 essential oil constituents against Escherichia coli, E. coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, and Vibrio vulnificus was tested using a paper disk method. Eight constituents were then tested in liquid to determine minimum inhibitory and minimum bactericidal concentrations. V. vulnificus was most susceptible using disk assay. Carvacrol, a property of oregano oil, showed strong bactericidal activity against all tester strains, while limonene, nerolidol, and beta -ionone were mostly inactive. Carvacrol was highly bactericidal against S. typhimurium and V. vulnificus in liquid medium. Citral and perillaldehyde had MBCs of 100 and 250 mu g/mL against V. vulnificus. Terpineol and linalool were least potent against tester strains, with MBCs of 1000 mu g/mL. Citral, geraniol, and perillaldehyde at 500 mu g/mL completely killed E. coli, E. coli, and S. typhimurium, while citronellal at 250 mu g/mL killed V. vulnificus. Therefore, these compounds could serve as potential antibacterial agents to inhibit pathogen growth in food. Descriptors: food contamination; antibacterial activity; essential oils; Escherichia coli; Salmonella typhimurium; Listeria monocytogenes; Vibrio vulnificus