A Review on Influencing Factors on the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Essential Oils

Van de Vel E, Sampers I, Raes K
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2017


With growing interest in essential oils as natural preservatives in the food industry, the literature is expanding enormously. To understand the antimicrobial activity of essential oils, the antimicrobial mechanism of individual essential oil (EO) compounds, and their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), are interesting starting points for research. Therefore, and to get insight into the factors influencing their antimicrobial activities, the Web of Science was searched for MICs of EO compounds (1995-2016). Many MICs for individual EO compounds have already been reported in the literature, but there is large variability in these data, even for the MIC of the same compound against the same species. No correlation was found between the tested structural parameters of EO compounds (polarity, water solubility, dissociation constant, molecular weight and molecular complexity) and their MICs against all microorganisms, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria and fungi. Few clear differences in sensitivity between microorganisms could be found. Based on this review it is clear that different incubation conditions, culture media and the use of emulsifiers/solvents have an influence on the MIC, causing big variance. This review points out the need for a good international standard method to assess the antimicrobial activity of EO compounds for better comparability between studies.


Van de Vel E, Sampers I, Raes K. A Review on Influencing Factors on the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Essential Oils. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Aug 30:0. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1371112.

[maxbutton id=”2397″]