Antimicrobial activity of cinnamon and clove oils under modified atmosphere conditions

Int J Food Microbiol. 2006 Mar 15;107(2):180-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2005.07.007. Epub 2005 Nov 2.


Mixtures of cinnamon and clove oils were tested for inhibitory activity against important spoilage microorganism of intermediate moisture foods. Four fungal species (Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium roqueforti, Mucor plumbeus and Eurotium sp.), four yeasts species (Debaryomyces hansenii, Pichia membranaefaciens, Zygosaccharomyces rouxii and Candida lipolytica), and two bacteria species (Staphylococcus aureus and Pediococcus halophilus) inoculated separately on agar plates were sealed in a barrier pouch and exposed to essential oil volatiles under a modified atmosphere of low O2 (<0.05-10%) and high CO2 (20% or 40%), with the balance being N2. A. flavus and Eurotium sp. proved to be the most resistant microorganisms. Cinnamon and clove oils added between 1000 and 4000 microL at a ratio of 1:1 were tested for minimum inhibitory volume (MIV) against molds and yeasts. The gas phase above 1000 microL of the oil mixture inhibited growth of C. lipolytica and P. membranaefaciens; 2000 microL inhibited growth of A. flavus, P. roqueforti, M. plumbeus, Eurotium sp., D. hansenii, and Z. rouxii, while inhibition of A. flavus required the addition of 4000 microL. Higher ratios of cinnamon oil/clove oil were more effective for inhibiting the growth of A. flavus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum / chemistry
  • Clove Oil / pharmacology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Packaging / methods*
  • Food Preservation / methods
  • Food Preservatives / pharmacology*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Nitrogen / analysis
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oxygen / analysis
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Water / analysis
  • Water / metabolism
  • Yeasts / drug effects
  • Yeasts / growth & development


  • Clove Oil
  • Food Preservatives
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Water
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen