Antimicrobial properties of basil and its possible application in food packaging

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 May 21;51(11):3197-207. doi: 10.1021/jf021038t.


Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is a popular culinary herb, and its essential oils have been used extensively for many years in food products, perfumery, and dental and oral products. Basil essential oils and their principal constituents were found to exhibit antimicrobial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, yeast, and mold. The present paper reviews primarily the topic of basil essential oils with regards to their chemical composition, their effect on microorganisms, the test methods for antimicrobial activity determination, and their possible future use in food preservation or as the active (antimicrobial), slow release, component of an active package.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents*
  • Food Packaging*
  • Food Preservation
  • Ocimum basilicum* / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Oils* / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils