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Meat Science
Vol. 96, No. 1, 2014, Pages: 514520

In vitro evaluation of antimicrobial activities of various commercial essential oils, oleoresin and pure compounds against food pathogens and application in ham

Dominic Dussault, Khanh Dang Vu, Monique Lacroix

Research Laboratories in Sciences Applied to Food, Canadian Irradiation Centre, Institute of Nutraceutical and Functional Foods, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, Quebec, Canada.


The purpose of this research was to evaluate the application of commercially available essential oils (EOs) and oleoresins to control bacterial pathogens for ready to eat food. In this study, sixty seven commercial EOs, oleoresins (ORs) and pure compounds were used to evaluate in vitro their antimicrobial activity against six food pathogens. These products were first screened for their antimicrobial activity using disk diffusion assay. Forty one products were then chosen for further analysis to determine their minimum inhibitory concentration against 6 different bacteria. There were 5 different products (allyl isothiocyanate, cinnamon Chinese cassia, cinnamon OR, oregano and red thyme) that showed high antimicrobial activity against all tested bacteria. Further analysis examined the effect of four selected EOs on controlling the growth rate of mixed cultures of Listeria monocytogenes in ham. A reduction of the growth rate by 19 and 10% was observed when oregano and cinnamon cassia EOs were respectively added in ham at a concentration of 500 ppm.

Keywords: Essential oils; Oleoresin; Foodborne pathogen; Listeria monocytogenes; Ham.

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