Progress on the Antimicrobial Activity Research of Clove Oil and Eugenol in the Food Antisepsis Field

J Food Sci. 2018 Jun;83(6):1476-1483. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.14180. Epub 2018 May 26.


As potential and valuable antiseptics in the food industry, clove oil and its main effective composition eugenol show beneficial advantages on antibacterial and antifungal activity, aromaticity, and safety. Researches find that both clove oil and eugenol express significantly inhibitory effects on numerous kinds of food source microorganisms, and the mechanisms are associated with reducing the migratory and adhesion and inhibiting the synthesis of biofilm and various virulence factors of these microorganisms. Clove oil and eugenol are generally regarded as safe in vivo experiments. However, they may express certain cytotoxicity on fibroblasts and other cells in vitro. Studies on the quality and additive standard of clove oil and eugenol should be strengthened to promote the antiseptic effects of them in the food antiseptic field.

Keywords: antibacterial effect; antifungal effect; clove oil; eugenol; mechanism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antisepsis
  • Clove Oil / chemistry
  • Clove Oil / pharmacology*
  • Eugenol / pharmacology*
  • Food Preservation*
  • Humans
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Syzygium / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Clove Oil
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Eugenol