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Food Science and Technology

Print version ISSN 0101-2061


MILLEZI, Alessandra Farias et al. In vitro antimicrobial properties of plant essential oils thymus vulgaris, cymbopogon citratus and laurus nobilis against five important foodborne pathogens. Ciênc. Tecnol. Aliment. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.1, pp.167-172.  Epub Feb 24, 2012. ISSN 0101-2061.

Several essential oils of condiment and medicinal plants possess proven antimicrobial activity and are of important interest for the food industry. Therefore, the Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of those oils should be determined for various bacteria. MIC varies according to the oil used, the major compounds, and the physiology of the bacterium under study. In the present study, the essential oils of the plants Thymus vulgaris (time), Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) and Laurus nobilis (bay) were chemically quantified, and the MIC was determined on the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 19117, Salmonella enterica Enteritidis S64, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853. The essential oil of C. citratus demonstrated bacterial activity at all concentrations tested and against all of the bacteria tested. The majority of essential oil compounds were geranial and neral. The major constituent of T. vulgaris was 1.8-cineol and of L. nobilis was linalool, which presented lower antibacterial activity, followed by 1.8-cineol. The Gram-negative bacteria demonstrated higher resistance to the use of the essential oils tested in this study. Ecoli was the least sensitive and was inhibited only by the oils of C. citratus and L. nobilis.

Keywords : natural antimicrobials; essential oils; foodborne pathogens.

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