Could essential oils of green and black pepper be used as food preservatives?

J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Oct;52(10):6565-73. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-1792-5. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Black and green pepper essential oils were used in this study in order to determine the chemical composition, in vitro antimicrobial activity against food spoilage microorganisms and in situ oils effect on food microorganism, after incorporation in chicken soup, by suggested methodology for calculation of Growth inhibition concentrations (GIC50). Chemical analysis revealed a total of 34 components. The major constituent of black pepper oil was trans-caryophyllene (30.33 %), followed by limonene (12.12 %), while β-pinene (24.42 %), δ(3)-carene (19.72 %), limonene (18.73 %) and α-pinene (10.39 %) were dominant compounds in green pepper oil. Antimicrobial activity was determined by microdilution technique and minimal inhibitory (MIC) and minimal bactericidal/fungicidal concentrations (MBC/MFC) were determined. Green pepper oil showed stronger antibacterial and antifungal activity (MIC 0.50-1.87; MBC 0.63-2.5 mg/ml; MIC 0.07-0.16; MFC 0.13-1.25 mg/ml) against black pepper oil (MIC 0.07-3.75; MBC 0.60-10.00 mg/ml; MIC 0.63-5.00; MFC 1.25-10.00 mg/ml. Oils successfully inhibited the growth of S. aureus in chicken soup in a dose dependent manner. GIC50 values were calculated after 24, 48 and 72 h and were in range of 0.156-0.689 mg/ml. The 50 % inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of EOs were 36.84 and 38.77 mg/ml with in 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay respectively. The obtained results revealed that black and green pepper volatiles are efficient in controlling the growth of known food-spoilage microorganisms.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Black and green pepper; Essential oil; Liquid food; Novel methodology for GIC50; Piper nigrum L.