Essential Oils as Natural Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Products in the Agri-Food Industry
Consumers are aware of the dangers arising from the use of synthetic antioxidants and antimicrobials in the agri-food industry, demanding safer and “greener” alternatives. In this study, the antioxidant activity of commercial essential oils through DPPH method, their antimicrobial effects against the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae and the phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum by means of the standardized disk method were determined. Clove along with winter savory, cinnamon and oregano essential oils together with carvacrol showed the highest antioxidant activity comparable to reference standards. Wintergreen essential oil was the most potent inhibitor against P. syringae growth at the highest doses (20 and 10 µL) applied. Oregano essential oil and its main component carvacrol were able to stop the bacterium growth even at the lowest treatment (1 µL). Cinnamon, oregano and peppermint essential oils inhibited F. oxysporum development at all doses (20, 10 and 5 µL) assayed. In general, most of the essential oils displayed more antifungal than antibacterial and antioxidant activities.