Terpenes and terpenoids as main bioactive compounds of essential oils, their roles in human health and potential application as natural food preservatives

Food Chem X. 2022 Jan 19;13:100217. doi: 10.1016/j.fochx.2022.100217. eCollection 2022 Mar 30.


Essential oils (EOs) are volatile and concentrated liquids extracted from different parts of plants. Bioactive compounds found in EOs, especially terpenes and terpenoids possess a wide range of biological activities including anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiallergic. Available literature confirms that EOs exhibit antimicrobial and food preservative properties that are considered as a real potential application in food industry. Hence, the purpose of this review is to present an overview of current knowledge of EOs for application in pharmaceutical and medical industries as well as their potential as food preservatives in food industry.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Anticancer; Antimicrobial; Atractylone (PubChem CID: 3080635); Bakuchiol (PubChem CID: 5468522); Carvacrol (PubChem CID: 10364); Carvone (PubChem CID: 7439); Essential oil; Eugenol (PubChem CID: 3314); Food preservatives; Hinokitiol (PubChem CID: 3611); Limonene (PubChem CID: 22311); Linalool (PubChem CID: 6549); Myrcene (PubChem CID: 31253); Terpenes; α-Terpineol (PubChem CID: 17100).