Comparison of antifungal activity of essential oils from different plants against three fungi

Food Chem Toxicol. 2019 Dec:134:110821. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2019.110821. Epub 2019 Sep 15.


The antifungal activity of plant essential oils (EOs) extracted by steam distillation from seven different species (Cinnamon, Anise, Clove, Citronella, Peppermint, Pepper, and Camphor) was investigated. Three common fungi were isolated from moldy wheat bread, which were identified as Aspergillus niger, A. oryzae, and A. ochraceus. The antifungal activity of anise, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, pepper, citronella, and camphor EOs from seven different spices was confirmed by agar diffusion assay against three fungi. Among all the EOs, the cinnamon EO showed the highest antifungal activity for all the fungi strains with the largest inhibition zone at the concentration of 800 mg/mL and lowest MIC ranging from 0.0625 to 0.125 mg/mL, followed by clove EO. The remaining EOs exerted moderate inhibitory effects. Further research indicated the substantial inhibitory activities of cinnamon and clove EOs on mycelial growth and spore germination in a dose-dependent manner. Further, the in vivo inhibitory activity of selected EOs on naturally infected bread demonstrated that cinnamon and clove EOs can as be used as natural antifungal agents.

Keywords: Antifungal; Aspergillus spp; Bread spoilage; Essential oil.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Germination
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Species Specificity
  • Spores, Fungal / drug effects
  • Spores, Fungal / physiology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Oils, Volatile