Compressed mints and chewing gum containing magnolia bark extract are effective against bacteria responsible for oral malodor

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Nov 14;55(23):9465-9. doi: 10.1021/jf072122h. Epub 2007 Oct 20.


Flavors and natural botanic extracts are often used in chewing gum and compressed mints for breath freshening and relief of oral malodor. The oral malodor is a result of bacterial putrification of proteinaceous materials from food or saliva. In this study, magnolia bark extract (MBE) and its two main components, magnolol and honokiol, were evaluated by the minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) test. The inhibitory effect of MBE mint was further evaluated by a kill-time assay study. In addition, an in vivo study was performed on nine healthy volunteers postlunch. Saliva samples were taken before and after subjects consumed mints and gum, with and without MBE. Listerine mouthwash was included as a positive control. The testing results indicated that MBE and its two main constituents demonstrated a strong germ-kill effect against bacteria responsible for halitosis and also Streptococcus mutans, bacteria involved in dental caries formation. The MIC of magnolol, honokiol, and MBE on Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and S. mutans ranged from 8 to 31 microg/mL. Kill-time assay results indicated that mints containing 0.2% MBE reduced more than 99.9% of three oral bacteria within 5 min of treatment. The in vivo study demonstrated that MBE containing mints reduced total salivary bacteria by 61.6% at 30 min and 33.8% at 60 min postconsumption. In comparison, the flavorless mint reduced total salivary bacteria by 3.6% at 30 min and increased total bacteria by 47.9% at 60 min. The MBE containing chewing gum reduced total salivary bacteria by 43.0% at 40 min, while placebo gum reduced total salivary bacteria by 18.0%. In conclusion, MBE demonstrated a significant antibacterial activity against organisms responsible for oral malodor and can be incorporated in compressed mints and chewing gum for improved breath-freshening benefits.

MeSH terms

  • Chewing Gum / analysis*
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / drug effects
  • Halitosis / drug therapy
  • Halitosis / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnolia / chemistry*
  • Plant Bark / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects


  • Chewing Gum
  • Plant Extracts