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      Antimicrobial Activity of Some Essential Oils—Present Status and Future Perspectives

      review-article
      , , *
      Medicines
      MDPI
      essential oils, antimicrobial, synergy, nano-encapsulation

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          Abstract

          Extensive documentation on the antimicrobial properties of essential oils and their constituents has been carried out by several workers. Although the mechanism of action of a few essential oil components has been elucidated in many pioneering works in the past, detailed knowledge of most of the compounds and their mechanism of action is still lacking. This knowledge is particularly important for the determination of the effect of essential oils on different microorganisms, how they work in combination with other antimicrobial compounds, and their interaction with food matrix components. Also, recent studies have demonstrated that nanoparticles (NPs) functionalized with essential oils have significant antimicrobial potential against multidrug- resistant pathogens due to an increase in chemical stability and solubility, decreased rapid evaporation and minimized degradation of active essential oil components. The application of encapsulated essential oils also supports their controlled and sustained release, which enhances their bioavailability and efficacy against multidrug-resistant pathogens. In the recent years, due to increasingly negative consumer perceptions of synthetic preservatives, interest in essential oils and their application in food preservation has been amplified. Moreover, the development of resistance to different antimicrobial agents by bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, etc. is a great challenge to the medical field for treating the infections caused by them, and hence, there is a pressing need to look for new and novel antimicrobials. To overcome these problems, nano-encapsulation of essential oils and exploiting the synergies between essential oils, constituents of essential oils, and antibiotics along with essential oils have been recommended as an answer to this problem. However, less is known about the interactions that lead to additive, synergistic, or antagonistic effects. A contributing role of this knowledge could be the design of new and more potent antimicrobial blends, and understanding of the interplay between the components of crude essential oils. This review is written with the purpose of giving an overview of current knowledge about the antimicrobial properties of essential oils and their mechanisms of action, components of essential oils, nano-encapsulated essential oils, and synergistic combinations of essential oils so as to find research areas that can facilitate applications of essential oils to overcome the problem of multidrug-resistant micro-organisms.

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          Most cited references116

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          Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils.

          The volatile oils of black pepper [Piper nigrum L. (Piperaceae)], clove [Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry (Myrtaceae)], geranium [Pelargonium graveolens L'Herit (Geraniaceae)], nutmeg [Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Myristicaceae), oregano [Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum (Link) Letsw. (Lamiaceae)] and thyme [Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae)] were assessed for antibacterial activity against 25 different genera of bacteria. These included animal and plant pathogens, food poisoning and spoilage bacteria. The volatile oils exhibited considerable inhibitory effects against all the organisms under test while their major components demonstrated various degrees of growth inhibition.
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            Essential Oils in Food Preservation: Mode of Action, Synergies, and Interactions with Food Matrix Components

            Essential oils are aromatic and volatile liquids extracted from plants. The chemicals in essential oils are secondary metabolites, which play an important role in plant defense as they often possess antimicrobial properties. The interest in essential oils and their application in food preservation has been amplified in recent years by an increasingly negative consumer perception of synthetic preservatives. Furthermore, food-borne diseases are a growing public health problem worldwide, calling for more effective preservation strategies. The antibacterial properties of essential oils and their constituents have been documented extensively. Pioneering work has also elucidated the mode of action of a few essential oil constituents, but detailed knowledge about most of the compounds’ mode of action is still lacking. This knowledge is particularly important to predict their effect on different microorganisms, how they interact with food matrix components, and how they work in combination with other antimicrobial compounds. The main obstacle for using essential oil constituents as food preservatives is that they are most often not potent enough as single components, and they cause negative organoleptic effects when added in sufficient amounts to provide an antimicrobial effect. Exploiting synergies between several compounds has been suggested as a solution to this problem. However, little is known about which interactions lead to synergistic, additive, or antagonistic effects. Such knowledge could contribute to design of new and more potent antimicrobial blends, and to understand the interplay between the constituents of crude essential oils. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of current knowledge about the antibacterial properties and antibacterial mode of action of essential oils and their constituents, and to identify research avenues that can facilitate implementation of essential oils as natural preservatives in foods.
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              Antibacterial activity and mechanism of cinnamon essential oil against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Medicines (Basel)
                Medicines (Basel)
                medicines
                Medicines
                MDPI
                2305-6320
                08 August 2017
                September 2017
                : 4
                : 3
                : 58
                Affiliations
                Natural Product Laboratory, Division of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Main Campus Chatha, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir 180 009, India; sonam.chouhan.3007@ 123456gmail.com (S.C.); sharmakanika.bch@ 123456gmail.com (K.S.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: guleria71@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel.: +91-946-921-1245
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1558-8479
                Article
                medicines-04-00058
                10.3390/medicines4030058
                5622393
                28930272
                2f46b497-e823-4a1c-9684-e88fba03f437
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 11 June 2017
                : 07 August 2017
                Categories
                Review

                essential oils,antimicrobial,synergy,nano-encapsulation
                essential oils, antimicrobial, synergy, nano-encapsulation

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