Special Issue "Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Physics and (Bio)Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2018).

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Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Juana Fernández-López
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Guest Editor
AgroFood Technology Department, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Miguel Hernández University, Orihuela, Spain
Interests: functional foods; dietary fiber; natural inhibitors; antioxidants; healthier meat products; essential oils; in vitro digestion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Manuel Viuda-Martos
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Co-Guest Editor
Agrofood Technology Department, Miguel Hernández University, Ctra. Beniel km 3.2, 03312 Orihuela, Spain
Interests: bioactive compounds; use of natural inhibitors (antioxidants and antimicrobials) to increase the shelf life of food; valorization of agrofood industry coproducts; development of new functional food products; meat product innovation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Essential oils have received increasing attention as natural additives for the shelf-life extension of food products, due to the risk in using synthetic preservatives. Synthetic additives can reduce food spoilage, but the present generation is very health conscious and believes in natural products rather than synthetic ones due to their potential toxicity and other concerns. Therefore, one of the major emerging technologies is the extraction of essential oils from several plant organs and their application to foods. Essential oils are a good source of several bioactive compounds, which possess antioxidative and antimicrobial properties, so their use can be very useful to extend the food shelf-life. Although essential oils have been shown to be promising alternative to chemical preservatives, they present special limitations that must be solved before their application in food systems. Low water solubility, high volatility and strong odor are the main properties that make it difficult for food applications. Recent advances refer to new forms of application to avoid these problems are currently under study. Their application into packaging materials and coated films but also directly into the food matrix as emulsions, nanoemulsions, coated and others are some of their new applications.

Prof. Juana Fernández-López
Dr. Manuel Viuda-Martos
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • essential oils
  • foods
  • preservatives

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Introduction to the Special Issue: Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems
Foods 2018, 7(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7040056 - 05 Apr 2018
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4004
Abstract
Essential oils have received increasing attention as natural additives for the shelf-life extension of food products due to the risk in using synthetic preservatives. Synthetic additives can reduce food spoilage, but the present generation is very health conscious and believes in natural products [...] Read more.
Essential oils have received increasing attention as natural additives for the shelf-life extension of food products due to the risk in using synthetic preservatives. Synthetic additives can reduce food spoilage, but the present generation is very health conscious and believes in natural products rather than synthetic ones due to their potential toxicity and other concerns. Therefore, one of the major emerging technologies is the extraction of essential oils from several plant organs and their application to foods. Essential oils are a good source of several bioactive compounds, which possess antioxidative and antimicrobial properties, so their use can be very useful to extend shelf-life in food products. Although essential oils have been shown to be promising alternative to chemical preservatives, they present special limitations that must be solved before their application in food systems. Low water solubility, high volatility, and strong odor are the main properties that make it difficult for food applications. Recent advances that refer to new forms of application to avoid these problems are currently under study. Their application into packaging materials and coated films but also directly into the food matrix as emulsions, nanoemulsions, and coating are some of their new applications among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Research

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Article
Characterization of Essential Oils Obtained from Abruzzo Autochthonous Plants: Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities Assessment for Food Application
Foods 2018, 7(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7020019 - 02 Feb 2018
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3550
Abstract
In the present study, the essential oils (EOs) of some officinal plants from Abruzzo territory (Italy) were evaluated for their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and their volatile fraction chemical characterization. The EOs were extracted from Rosmarinus officinalis, Origanum vulgare, Salvia officinalis [...] Read more.
In the present study, the essential oils (EOs) of some officinal plants from Abruzzo territory (Italy) were evaluated for their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and their volatile fraction chemical characterization. The EOs were extracted from Rosmarinus officinalis, Origanum vulgare, Salvia officinalis, Mentha piperita, Allium sativum, Foeniculum vulgare, Satureja montana, Thymus vulgaris and Coriandrum sativum seeds. The antimicrobial activity was screened against thirteen Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains to determine the Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). The total phenolic content (TPC) and the antioxidant capacity (AOC) were assessed by means of Folin-Ciocâlteu method, and Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity with 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (TEAC/ABTS), Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays respectively. Among the nine EOs tested, T. vulgaris, S. montana, O. vulgare and C. sativum EOs showed MIC values ranging from 0.625 to 5 μL/mL. The AOC and TPC results for these species were also interesting. The major components for these EOs were thymol for T. vulgaris (44%) and O. vulgare (40%), linalool (77%) for C. sativum, and carvacrol for S. montana (54%). The results allowed the study to establish that these EOs are good candidates for potential application as biopreservatives in foods and/or food manufacture environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Article
Thyme and Savory Essential Oil Efficacy and Induction of Resistance against Botrytis cinerea through Priming of Defense Responses in Apple
Foods 2018, 7(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7020011 - 23 Jan 2018
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4209
Abstract
The efficacy of thyme and savory essential oils were investigated against Botrytis cinerea on apple fruit. Apples treated with thyme and savory essential oils showed significantly lower gray mold severity and incidence. Thyme essential oil at 1% concentration showed the highest efficacy, with [...] Read more.
The efficacy of thyme and savory essential oils were investigated against Botrytis cinerea on apple fruit. Apples treated with thyme and savory essential oils showed significantly lower gray mold severity and incidence. Thyme essential oil at 1% concentration showed the highest efficacy, with lower disease incidence and smaller lesion diameter. The expression of specific pathogenesis-related (PR) genes PR-8 and PR-5 was characterized in apple tissues in response to thyme oil application and B. cinerea inoculation. After 6 h of pathogen inoculation, thyme essential oil induced a 2.5-fold increase of PR-8 gene expression compared to inoculated fruits. After 24 h of inoculation, PR-8 was highly induced (7-fold) in both thyme oil-treated and untreated apples inoculated with B. cinerea. After 48 h of inoculation, PR-8 expression in thyme-treated and inoculated apples was 4- and 6-fold higher than in inoculated and water-treated apples. Neither thyme oil application nor B. cinerea inoculation markedly affected PR-5 expression. These results suggest that thyme oil induces resistance against B. cinerea through the priming of defense responses in apple fruit, and the PR-8 gene of apple may play a key role in the mechanism by which thyme essential oil effectively inhibits gray mold in apple fruit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Article
Thyme and Savory Essential Oil Vapor Treatments Control Brown Rot and Improve the Storage Quality of Peaches and Nectarines, but Could Favor Gray Mold
Foods 2018, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7010007 - 05 Jan 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3763
Abstract
The effect of biofumigation, through slow-release diffusors, of thyme and savory essential oils (EO), was evaluated on the control of postharvest diseases and quality of peaches and nectarines. EO fumigation was effective in controlling postharvest rots. Naturally contaminated peaches and nectarines were exposed [...] Read more.
The effect of biofumigation, through slow-release diffusors, of thyme and savory essential oils (EO), was evaluated on the control of postharvest diseases and quality of peaches and nectarines. EO fumigation was effective in controlling postharvest rots. Naturally contaminated peaches and nectarines were exposed to EO vapors for 28 days at 0 °C in sealed storage cabinets and then exposed at 20 °C for five days during shelf-life in normal atmosphere, simulating retail conditions. Under low disease pressure, most treatments significantly reduced fruit rot incidence during shelf-life, while, under high disease pressure, only vapors of thyme essential oil at the highest concentration tested (10% v/v in the diffusor) significantly reduced the rots. The application of thyme or savory EO favored a reduction of brown rot incidence, caused by Monilinia fructicola, but increased gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea. In vitro tests confirmed that M. fructicola was more sensitive to EO vapors than B. cinerea. Essential oil volatile components were characterized in storage cabinets during postharvest. The antifungal components of the essential oils increased during storage, but they were a low fraction of the volatile organic compounds in storage chambers. EO vapors did not influence the overall quality of the fruit, but showed a positive effect in reducing weight loss and in maintaining ascorbic acid and carotenoid content. The application of thyme and savory essential oil vapors represents a promising tool for reducing postharvest losses and preserving the quality of peaches and nectarines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Article
Cytotoxicity of the Essential Oil of Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) from Tajikistan
Foods 2017, 6(9), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6090073 - 28 Aug 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3913
Abstract
The essential oil of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is rich in lipophilic secondary metabolites, which can easily cross cell membranes by free diffusion. Several constituents of the oil carry reactive carbonyl groups in their ring structures. Carbonyl groups can react with amino [...] Read more.
The essential oil of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is rich in lipophilic secondary metabolites, which can easily cross cell membranes by free diffusion. Several constituents of the oil carry reactive carbonyl groups in their ring structures. Carbonyl groups can react with amino groups of amino acid residues in proteins or in nucleotides of DNA to form Schiff’s bases. Fennel essential oil is rich in anise aldehyde, which should interfere with molecular targets in cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the chemical composition of the essential oil of fennel growing in Tajikistan. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis revealed that the main components of F. vulgare oil were trans-anethole (36.8%); α-ethyl-p-methoxy-benzyl alcohol (9.1%); p-anisaldehyde (7.7%); carvone (4.9%); 1-phenyl-penta-2,4-diyne (4.8%) and fenchyl butanoate (4.2%). The oil exhibited moderate antioxidant activities. The potential cytotoxic activity was studied against HeLa (human cervical cancer), Caco-2 (human colorectal adenocarcinoma), MCF-7 (human breast adenocarcinoma), CCRF-CEM (human T lymphoblast leukaemia) and CEM/ADR5000 (adriamycin resistant leukaemia) cancer cell lines; IC50 values were between 30–210 mg L−1 and thus exhibited low cytotoxicity as compared to cytotoxic reference compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Article
Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Action of Cinnamon and Oregano Oils, Cinnamaldehyde, Carvacrol, 2,5-Dihydroxybenzaldehyde, and 2-Hydroxy-5-Methoxybenzaldehyde against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map)
Foods 2017, 6(9), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6090072 - 24 Aug 2017
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4717
Abstract
The antimicrobial modes of action of six naturally occurring compounds, cinnamon oil, cinnamaldehyde, oregano oil, carvacrol, 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, previously found to inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) reported to infect food animals and humans and to be [...] Read more.
The antimicrobial modes of action of six naturally occurring compounds, cinnamon oil, cinnamaldehyde, oregano oil, carvacrol, 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, previously found to inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) reported to infect food animals and humans and to be present in milk, cheese, and meat, were investigated. The incubation of Map cultures in the presence of all six compounds caused phosphate ions to leak into the extracellular environment in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde decreased the intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration of Map cells, whereas oregano oil and carvacrol caused an initial decrease of intracellular ATP concentration that was restored gradually after incubation at 37 °C for 2 h. Neither 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde nor 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde had a significant effect on intracellular ATP concentration. None of the compounds tested were found to cause leakage of ATP to the extracellular environment. Monolayer studies involving a Langmuir trough apparatus revealed that all anti-Map compounds, especially the essential oil compounds, altered the molecular packing characteristics of phospholipid molecules of model membranes, causing fluidization. The results of the physicochemical model microbial membrane studies suggest that the destruction of the pathogenic bacteria might be associated with the disruption of the bacterial cell membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Communication
Application of Surfactant Micelle-Entrapped Eugenol for Prevention of Growth of the Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Ground Beef
Foods 2017, 6(8), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6080069 - 16 Aug 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
Beef safety may be compromised by O157 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) contamination. The capacity of surfactant micelles loaded with the plant-derived antimicrobial eugenol to reduce STEC on beef trimmings that were later ground and refrigerated for five days at 5 [...] Read more.
Beef safety may be compromised by O157 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) contamination. The capacity of surfactant micelles loaded with the plant-derived antimicrobial eugenol to reduce STEC on beef trimmings that were later ground and refrigerated for five days at 5 ± 1 °C was tested to determine their utility for beef safety protection. STEC-inoculated trimmings were treated with free eugenol, micelle-encapsulated eugenol, 2% lactic acid (55 °C), sterile distilled water (25 °C), or left untreated (control). Following treatment, trimmings were coarse-ground and stored aerobically at 5 ± 1 °C. Ground beef was then sampled for STEC immediately post-grinding, and again at three and five days of storage. STEC minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in liquid medium for free eugenol and 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-loaded micelles were 0.5% and 0.125%, respectively. STEC numbers on beef trimmings treated by sterile water (6.5 log10 CFU/g), free eugenol (6.5 log10 CFU/g), micelle-loaded eugenol (6.4 log10 CFU/g), and lactic acid (6.4 log10 CFU/g) did not differ compared to untreated controls (6.6 log10 CFU/g) (p = 0.982). Conversely, STEC were significantly reduced by refrigerated storage (0.2 and 0.3 log10 CFU/g at three and five days of storage, respectively) (p = 0.014). Antimicrobial treatments did not significantly decontaminate ground beef, indicating their low utility for beef safety protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Article
The Chemical Compositions of the Volatile Oils of Garlic (Allium sativum) and Wild Garlic (Allium vineale)
Foods 2017, 6(8), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6080063 - 05 Aug 2017
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 7419
Abstract
Garlic, Allium sativum, is broadly used around the world for its numerous culinary and medicinal uses. Wild garlic, Allium vineale, has been used as a substitute for garlic, both in food as well as in herbal medicine. The present study investigated [...] Read more.
Garlic, Allium sativum, is broadly used around the world for its numerous culinary and medicinal uses. Wild garlic, Allium vineale, has been used as a substitute for garlic, both in food as well as in herbal medicine. The present study investigated the chemical compositions of A. sativum and A. vineale essential oils. The essential oils from the bulbs of A. sativum, cultivated in Spain, were obtained by three different methods: laboratory hydrodistillation, industrial hydrodistillation, and industrial steam distillation. The essential oils of wild-growing A. vineale from north Alabama were obtained by hydrodistillation. The resulting essential oils were analyzed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Both A. sativum and A. vineale oils were dominated by allyl polysulfides. There were minor quantitative differences between the A. sativum oils owing to the distillation methods employed, as well as differences from previously reported garlic oils from other geographical locations. Allium vineale oil showed a qualitative similarity to Allium ursinum essential oil. The compositions of garlic and wild garlic are consistent with their use as flavoring agents in foods as well as their uses as herbal medicines. However, quantitative differences are likely to affect the flavor and bioactivity profiles of these Allium species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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Article
Assessment of Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties on Meat Homogenates of Essential Oils Obtained from Four Thymus Species Achieved from Organic Growth
Foods 2017, 6(8), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6080059 - 28 Jul 2017
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3863
Abstract
In the organic food industry, no chemical additives can be used to prevent microbial spoilage. As a consequence, the essential oils (EOs) obtained from organic aromatic herbs and spices are gaining interest for their potential as preservatives. The organic Thymus zygis, Thymus [...] Read more.
In the organic food industry, no chemical additives can be used to prevent microbial spoilage. As a consequence, the essential oils (EOs) obtained from organic aromatic herbs and spices are gaining interest for their potential as preservatives. The organic Thymus zygis, Thymus mastichina, Thymus capitatus and Thymus vulgaris EOs, which are common in Spain and widely used in the meat industry, could be used as antibacterial agents in food preservation. The aims of this study were to determine (i) the antibacterial activity using, as culture medium, extracts from meat homogenates (minced beef, cooked ham or dry-cured sausage); and (ii) the antioxidant properties of organic EOs obtained from T. zygis, T. mastichina, T. capitatus and T. vulgaris. The antioxidant activity was determined using different methodologies, such as Ferrous ion-chelating ability assay, Ferric reducing antioxidant power, ABTS radical cation (ABTS+) scavenging activity assay and 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging method; while the antibacterial activity was determined against 10 bacteria using the agar diffusion method in different meat model media. All EOs analyzed, at all concentrations, showed antioxidant activity. T. capitatus and T. zygis EOs were the most active. The IC50 values, for DPPH, ABTS and FIC assays were 0.60, 1.41 and 4.44 mg/mL, respectively, for T. capitatus whilst for T. zygis were 0.90, 2.07 and 4.95 mg/mL, respectively. Regarding antibacterial activity, T. zygis and T. capitatus EOs, in all culture media, had the highest inhibition halos against all tested bacteria. In general terms, the antibacterial activity of all EOs assayed was higher in the medium made with minced beef than with the medium elaborated with cooked ham or dry-cured sausage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Essential Oils in Food Systems)
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