Chemical Composition, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils from Organic Fennel, Parsley, and Lavender from Spain

Foods. 2016 Mar 4;5(1):18. doi: 10.3390/foods5010018.


The aim of this work was to (i) determine the chemical composition of the essential oils of three spices widely cultivated in Spain from organic growth: Foeniculum vulgare, Petroselium crispum, and Lavandula officinalis; (ii) determine the total phenolic content; (iii) determine the antioxidant activity of the essentials oils by means of three different antioxidant tests and (iv) determine the effectiveness of these essentials oils on the inhibition of Listeria innocua CECT 910 and Pseudomonas fluorescens CECT 844. There is a great variability in the chemical composition of the essential oils. Parsley had the highest phenolic content. Overall, parsley presented the best antioxidant profile, given its highest % of inhibition of DPPH radical (64.28%) and FRAP (0.93 mmol/L Trolox), but had a pro-oxidative behavior by TBARS. Lavender essential oil showed the highest antibacterial activity against L. innocua (>13 mm of inhibition at 20-40 μL oil in the discs), followed by parsley with an inhibition zone of 10 mm (when more than 5 μL oil in the discs), and fennel 10 mm (when more than 40 μL oil in the discs). P. fluorescens was not inhibited by the tested essential oils.

Keywords: antimicrobial; antioxidant; fennel; lavender; organics; parsley.