Synergistic antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant efficacy of cinnamon and clove essential oils in combination

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Research Article

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Archives of Microbiology


The present investigation aimed to evaluate antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant efficacy of essential oils of three commonly used spices (black pepper, cinnamon and clove) in combination along with chemical characterization and toxicity evaluation. Among the possible combinations tested, cinnamon/clove oil combination showed synergistic antibacterial activity against foodborne bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and synergistic antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger as well as synergistic antioxidant potential in DPPH radical scavenging model system. GC–HRMS analysis revealed that out of thirteen identified components from clove oil, eugenol was found to be the main constituent of the oil; whereas out of twenty one identified constituents from cinnamon oil, the main component was cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon/clove oil combination did not show any cytotoxic potential at recommended dosage level (IC50 > 2000 µg/ml). The results provide evidence that cinnamon/clove oil combination might indeed be used as a potential source of safe and effective novel natural antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant blend in the food and pharmaceutical industries. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a combination of essential oils has been tested as natural preservatives to prevent both microbial proliferation and oxidative deterioration at sufficiently low concentrations.

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