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Antimicrobial properties and chemical composition of liquid and gaseous phases of essential oils

Kamil Křůmal, Nela Kubátková, Zbyněk Večeřa, and Pavel Mikuška

Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v. v. i., Veveří 97, CZ-60200 Brno, Czech Republic



Abstract: The antimicrobial properties of fifteen essential oils (EOs) tested on seventeen microorganisms were determined using the vapour-agar contact method. The most effective EOs (i.e. Lavandula angustifolia, Cymbopogon nardus, Citrus aurantifolia, Juniperus communis, Myrtus communis and Cinnamomum zeylanicum), whose volatile components afforded the best antimicrobial properties, were selected for a detailed study of chemical composition. All these six EOs contained one to three main components that presented 67-91 mass % of total mass of a corresponding essential oil. The amount of other components was much lower (less than 5 mass %). The volatile components of Lavandula angustifolia exhibited the most effective antimicrobial properties because they completely inhibited the tested bacteria and fungi within 3 days and 1 week, respectively. The components of Lavandula angustifolia with the highest concentration in the gaseous phase were linalool (99.0 ppmv), eucalyptol (44.9 ppmv), linalyl acetate (25.9 ppmv), myrcene (22.2 ppmv), β-trans-ocimene (19.7 ppmv), camphor (16.7 ppmv) and limonene (14.9 ppmv).

Keywords: essential oils – vapour-agar contact method – antibacterial – antifungal

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0118


Chemical Papers 69 (8) 1084–1092 (2015)

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