The study was designed to determine the chemical composition and antimicrobial properties of the essential oil of Thymus vulgaris cultivated in Romania. The essential oil was isolated in a yield of 1.25% by steam distillation from the aerial part of the plant and subsequently analyzed by GC-MS. The major components were p-cymene (8.41%), γ-terpinene (30.90%) and thymol (47.59%). Its antimicrobial activity was evaluated on 7 common food-related bacteria and fungus by using the disk diffusion method. The results demonstrate that the Thymus vulgaris essential oil tested possesses strong antimicrobial properties, and may in the future represent a new source of natural antiseptics with applications in the pharmaceutical and food industry.
Keywords: GC-MS analysis; antimicrobial activity; essential oil; thyme.