Antimicrobial Activities of Essential Oils, Plant Extracts and their Applications in Foods- A Review
Arlette Cordery, Aishwarya Pradeep Rao, Sadhana Ravishankar

Food crops are subjected to contact with several foodborne pathogens that may be found in the surrounding soil, air and water sources and even fecal material that may be present in the field conditions. Improper processing and handling, temperature irregularities during transportation and storage, and inadequate sanitation options can also lead to foodborne outbreaks associated with frequently consumed foods. The ability of these pathogens to survive the processing and supply chain and reach consumers, causing outbreaks, has made interventions important in terms of sanitation measures. Natural antimicrobials such as plant essential oils and extracts are gaining popularity as an alternative to commercially used chemicals such as chlorine and hydrogen peroxide. Consumers are more aware of the harmful effects of these chemicals and prefer natural alternatives. Essential oils have been long since used as flavorings and perfumery agents, and have recently gained popularity in foods due to their antimicrobial activity. This manuscript aims to establish a comprehensive review on the antimicrobial activity of some plant essential oils, their active components and plant extracts against common foodborne pathogens in vitro and on/in foods. Even though the exact mechanism of action may be unknown, the efficacy of these compounds in reducing the survival of pathogens, makes them prime candidates for alternate sanitizers.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v7n2a9