Inhibitory activity of spices and essential oils on psychrotrophic bacteria

A. Fabio*, A. Corona, Eleonora Forte, P. Quaglio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


This study was designed to evaluate "in vitro" the inhibitory effects of spices and essential oils on the growth of psycrotrophic food-borne bacteria: Aeromonas hydrophila, Listeria monocytogenes and Yersinia enterocolitica. The sensitivity to nine spices and their oils (chilli, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme) was studied. Antibacterial activity was evaluated on liquid and solid medium. Spices: 1% concentration of each spice was added separately to Triptic Soy Broth and then inoculated to contain 108/ml organism and held to 4°C for 7 days. Populations of test organism were determined on Triptic Soy Agar. Oils: Inhibition of growth was tested by using the paper disc agar diffusion method (at 35, 20 and 4°C) and measuring their inhibition zone. MIC was determined by the broth microdilution method. Some culinary spices produce antibacterial activity: inhibition of growth ranged from complete (cinnamon and cloves against A. hydrophila) to no inhibition. Antibacterial inhibition zone ranged from 8 mm to 45 mm: thyme essential oil showed the greatest inhibition against A. hydrophila.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Aeromonas hydrophila
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Essential oils
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Spices
  • Yersinia enterocolitica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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