Essential oils (EOs) have been long recognized for their antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, insecticidal and antioxidant properties. They are widely used in medicine and the food industry for these purposes. The increased interest in alternative natural substances is driving the research community to find new uses and applications of these substances. EOs and their components show promising activities against many food-borne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms when tested in vitro
. In food systems, higher concentrations of EOs are needed to exert similar antibacterial effects as those obtained in in vitro
assays. The use of combinations of EOs and their isolated components are thus new approaches to increase the efficacy of EOs in foods, taking advantage of their synergistic and additive effects. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview on the antimicrobial efficacy of these combinations. A survey of the methods used for the determination of the interactions and mechanisms involved in the antimicrobial activities of these combinations are also reported.