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Recently, the utilization of essential oils extracted from spices has been garnering interest due to their phytochemical constituents which could be extracted using various techniques. Studies have demonstrated antimicrobial activities from essential oils against foodborne pathogens, and thus, their application has been considered to be a possible preservative for foods. Pimenta dioica is a type of aromatic plant, and its essential oil is is rich in eugenol, a phenolic compound with wide antimicrobial spectrum. Other bioactive compounds in P. dioica extract include glycosides, alkaloids, carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, and tannins. The incorporation of essential oils into food is limited because they have an intense aroma, and might affect consumer acceptance. Therefore, nanotechnology is applied as a tool to rectify this limitation, and it is now possible to apply essential oils in active packaging, or to encapsulate them in biodegradable materials or edible coatings with controlled release. However, there is little information on the interaction of nanoencapsulated bioactive composites, and thus, it is essential to assess the viability of biomaterials before their use. The objective of this work is to show the use of the essential oil of Pimenta dioica and its phytochemical composites in a general way for its potential application in food technology.
*Corresponding author.
International Food Research Journal 28(5): 893 - 904 (October 2021)
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Recently, the utilisation of essential oils extracted from spices has been garnering interest due
to their phytochemical constituents which could be extracted using various techniques.
Studies have demonstrated antimicrobial activities from essential oils against foodborne
pathogens, and thus, their application has been considered to be a possible preservative for
foods. Pimenta dioica is a type of aromatic plant, and its essential oil is is rich in eugenol, a
phenolic compound with wide antimicrobial spectrum. Other bioactive compounds in P.
dioica extract include glycosides, alkaloids, carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, and tannins.
The incorporation of essential oils into food is limited because they have an intense aroma,
and might affect consumer acceptance. Therefore, nanotechnology is applied as a tool to
rectify this limitation, and it is now possible to apply essential oils in active packaging, or to
encapsulate them in biodegradable materials or edible coatings with controlled release.
However, there is little information on the interaction of nanoencapsulated bioactive
composites, and thus, it is essential to assess the viability of biomaterials before their use. The
objective of this work is to show the use of the essential oil of Pimenta dioica and its
phytochemical composites in a general way for its potential application in food technology.
Article history
Received: 8 July 2020
Received in revised form:
29 January 2021
12 April 2021
Pimenta dioica,
essential oil,
The use of spices and their extracts for
medicinal and gastronomic purposes dates back to
ancient Egypt, with preservation of meat products
being the first application. Now, they are used as
seasonings and preservatives due to their antioxidant
and antimicrobial properties (Clemenson, 2019).
Essential oils (EOs) are chemical compounds
obtained from different parts of plants such as seed,
leaf, and bark by different techniques. EOs are
volatile and lipophilic bioactive compounds that
generate different properties in plants (Calo et al.,
2015). They are aromatic compounds used in the
food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries
(Oussalah et al., 2007; Bhargava et al., 2015). The
use of natural compounds for human and animal
consumption has been increasing, and stimulated
research that explores new applications for EOs
(Perricone et al., 2015).
Research has reported the antimicrobial
properties of EOs against microorganisms that spoil
food, and the application of EOs as a type of potential
green preservative for foods has been considered
(Passarinho et al., 2014; Calo et al., 2015; Bhargava
et al., 2015; Zhang et al., 2016). The antimicrobial
activity of EOs implies the ability of its hydrophobic
compounds to alter the cell membranes of
microorganisms, thus modifying their cell structure
and membrane permeability which eventually leads to
cell death (Zhang et al., 2016). The antimicrobial
properties of EOs are due to the interactions among
their chemical compounds (Chouhan et al., 2017;
Marchese et al., 2017).
The EO of Pimenta dioica, which is an
aromatic plant, has also been reported to have
antimicrobial and antioxidant properties (Dima et al.,
2014) due to the abundance of eugenol (Priya et al.,
2012), a phenolic compound with a wide spectrum
antimicrobial property, in its EO (Monteiro et al.,
2011; Marchese et al., 2017). Phytochemical analyses
of P. dioica leaf extract report the presence of
glycosides, alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids,
tannins, and proteins (Mathew and Lincy, 2013).
Methyl eugenol, eugenol, myrcene, β-caryophyllene,
cineole, and limonene have also been reported
(Kikiuzaki et al., 1999; Jirovetz et al., 2007; Tucker
and Maciarello, 1991; Mohamed et al., 2007; Siju et
al., 2014).
1Departamento de Ingeniería Agroindustrial, Universidad Politécnica de Guanajuato, Cortazar, Guanajuato, México
2Departamento de Ingeniería Bioquímica, Tecnológico Nacional de México en Celaya, Guanajuato, México
1Jarquín-Enríquez, L., 1Ibarra-Torres, P., 2Jiménez-Islas, H. and 1*Flores-Martínez, N. L.
Pimenta dioica: a review on its composition, phytochemistry, and
applications in food technology
894 Jarquín-Enríquez, L., et al./IFRJ 28(5) : 893 - 904
Origin, taxonomy, and distribution
Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. (Merrill, 1947),
commonly known as allspice, is a tree producing
fruits which are dried and used as spice in culinary.
Allspice belongs to the family Myrtaceae, and is
known in French as le piment de la Jamaique piment,
in Spanish as pimenta gorda, and in Portuguese as
pimenta da Jamaica. The common name allspice was
proposed by John Ray, an English botanist, who
identified its flavour as a combination of cloves,
cinnamon, and nutmeg (Rema and Krishnamoorthy,
2012). The family Myrtaceae consists of
approximately 3,000 species, most of which grow in
the tropics. The genus Pimenta Lindl. consists of
approximately 18 species of aromatic shrubs and
trees native to the tropical America (Willis, 1966).
The trees grow to a height of 7 m, the trunk has
reddish brown bark, and the seed is dark green and
becomes brown to black when dried as a single seed
(Vasconcelos et al., 2018).
Pimenta dioica is native to the West Indies
(Jamaica; hence its French and Portuguese name).
However, it is also found in Central America
(Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Honduras, and Costa
Rica) and the neighbouring Caribbean islands,
although its original home is under debate. Currently,
Jamaica produces 70% of the world’s production of
P. dioica, and the remaining 30% is produced by
Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize
combined. Ripe berries, due to their oleoresin
content, are commercially important in the
pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. They
are of high quality due to their flavour, size, and
appearance, giving them a good price in the market.
The main importing countries are the UK, Germany,
Finland, Sweden, USA, and Canada. Its leaf oil is
mainly exported to the UK and USA (Rema and
Krishnamoorthy, 2012).
Phytochemical constituents
Essential oils (EOs) are volatile liquids
extracted from bark, bud, flower, fruit, leaf, root, and
stem. In EOs, more than 50 phytochemical species
such as terpenes, terpenoids, and aromatic
constituents have been isolated and identified, and
they play vital roles in the antimicrobial property of
EOs (Mariod, 2016). Nowadays, EOs have been used
as flavouring and functional ingredients in foods
(Kalantari et al., 2012). The highest concentration of
EOs allowed in foods is approximately 0.025%
(Krishnamoorthy and Rema, 2004). EOs differ in
their odours, optical properties, and refractive
indices. They are soluble in alcohol and ether, but
immiscible in water. EOs contain alcohols,
hydrocarbons, aldehydes, and ketones, among others
(Noudogbessi et al., 2012). Of late, the interest in the
direct or synergistic application of EOs in the food
industry has been increasing (Carocho et al., 2014).
For P. dioica, its EO is extracted from the berries and
leaves, and is also applied in the food, cosmetic, and
pharmaceutical industries (Rao et al., 2012).
Generally, phytochemical compounds are
non-nutritive secondary metabolites, and they often
have other functional properties such as antimicrobi-
al against wide range of foodborne microorganisms.
Based on their complex chemical structure,
phytochemicals are generally classified into major
groups such as polyphenols, carotenoids, alkaloids,
sulphur-containing groups, terpenes, and terpenoids
(Prakash et al., 2020).
The partitioning of phenolic compounds
depends on the part of the tissue/plant (Robards,
2003). The precursor phenolic compounds are
tyrosine and phenylalanine, which have hydroxyl
groups attached to the aromatic ring, and are
aromatic compounds of plants (Naczk and Shahidi,
2004; Muchuweti et al., 2007). Phenolic compounds
are soluble in water, and when combined with a sugar
molecule, they can be found as glycosides
(Muchuweti et al., 2007). Phytoalexins are phenolic
compounds that act as antimicrobial compounds
(Naczk and Shahidi, 2004). The phytochemical
compounds found in EOs could also have
antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and anticancer properties
(Mahomoodally et al., 2018). Approximately, 8,000
polyphenols have been identified thus far, and these
can be subclassified into various groups ranging from
phenolic acids to tannins (Muchuweti et al., 2007).
Dima et al. (2014) identified 23 phytochemi-
cal compounds in P. dioica EO obtained by
supercritical CO2 extraction, which are represented in
Table 1, with eugenol being the most abundant
(68.06%). In another study, Suprani-Marques et al.
(2019) identified the compounds in P. dioica leaves,
extracted by hydrodistillation utilising gas
chromatography with flame ionisation (Table 2).
Biological activities
For decades, EOs have been used due to their
various biological activities. However, the scientific
basis for these activities is still being investigated
(El-Soud et al., 2012; Raut and Karuppayil, 2014).
Due to their biological activities, more than 300 EOs
have industrial importance (El-Soud et al., 2012;
Raut and Karuppayil, 2014). They can be applied
both in the food industry and for medical purposes
due to their wide spectrum (Bakkali et al., 2008;
Perricone et al., 2015; Pandey et al., 2016;
Jarquín-Enríquez, L., et al./IFRJ 28(5) : 893 - 904 895
Compound % areaa RIb
γ-Terpinene 0.48 1060
γ-Cardinene 0.48 1520
β-Selinene 0.38 1488
β-Phellandrene 1.34 1031
α-Pinene 0.27 934
α-Phellandrene 6.67 1006
α-Humulene 1.51 1454
α-(E,E)-Farnesene 0.09 1508
Trans-β-ocimene 0.72 1050
Trans-nerolidol 0.04 1560
Teroinolene 1.36 1086
p-Cymene 1.11 1026
Myrcene 0.23 990
Methyl eugenol 9.37 1403
Linalool 0.12 1100
Limonene 0.35 1029
Isoeugenol 0.12 1405
Eugenol 68.06 1357
Chavicol 0.26 1248
1,8-Cineole 1.65 1035
Table 1. Chemical compounds in Pimenta dioica essential oil obtained
by supercritical fluid extraction (Dima et al., 2014).
aThe quantitative results were obtained electronically from FID area data
without using correction factors, and bretention index.
Table 2. Chemical compounds in the essential oil of Pimenta dioica essen-
tial oil (Suprani-Marques et al., 2019).
aLiterature retention index, bExperimental retention index, and c% area
obtained by GC-FID with the Rtx-5MS capillary column.
Trans-hex-2-enal - - 0.5
5-Methylheptan-3-one - 988 2.4
Octan-3-ol 993 996 0.8
α-Phellandrene 1005 1000 1.9
Linalool 1098 1098 2.8
Eugenol 1356 1345 18.3
896 Jarquín-Enríquez, L., et al./IFRJ 28(5) : 893 - 904
Ribeiro-Santos et al., 2017). The synergistic effect of
essential oils has been shown to be due to the
biological properties of their compounds
(Ribeiro-Santos et al., 2017).
Most EOs from spices and herbs such as
oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, and their
phytochemical compounds such as thymol,
cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and carvacrol are
classified as generally recognised as safe (GRAS) by
the FDA. EOs have also been analysed for their
antimicrobial capacity against pathogens (Burt,
2004; Shaaban et al., 2012; Pandey et al., 2016). The
lipid composition allows transport through the
cytoplasmic membrane and the cell wall of
pathogenic microorganisms, thus altering their
structure. EO-based products are available to control
the growth or inhibition of microorganisms in food
(Bakkali et al., 2008; Saad et al., 2013).
Antibacterial activity
Bacteria are the leading cause of foodborne
illnesses (USDA, 2012). The demand for more
natural (minimally processed) foods has been
increasing; therefore, it is suggested to use
preservatives of natural origin such as herbal and
spice extracts (Hyldgaard et al., 2012; Kim et al.,
2012) to reduce bacterial contamination. Several
studies report the direct addition of aromatic plant
essential oils and extracts to foodstuffs to exert
antibacterial or antioxidant effects (Carvalho-Costa
et al., 2015). The application of an EO is due to its
antibacterial activity, especially in the food and
pharmaceutical industries (Burt, 2004; Lang and
Buchbauer, 2012). The literature reports the
activities of the EOs of aromatic plant species against
Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria
(Calvo-Irabien, 2018).
The EO of P. dioica has been shown to have
antibacterial properties with wide spectrum (Zabka et
al., 2009; Rao et al., 2010). Table 3 shows an
example of the application of chitosan and
microencapsulated carrageenan against microorgan-
isms (Dima et al., 2014). In another study,
Lorenzo-Leal et al. (2019) reported antibacterial
activity against Salmonella Typhimurium and
Listeria monocytogenes in alfalfa seeds.
Antifungal activity
The greatest postharvest damage to food is
caused by fungi which leads to great economic losses
(Sivakumar and Bautista-Baños, 2014). In the field
of food safety, due to the production of mycotoxins,
fungi of the genera Fusarium, Aspergillus, and
Penicillium are the most analysed (D’Mello et al.,
1998; Serra et al., 2006). The damages caused by
mycotoxins in fresh and packaged products have
been shown to be a health hazard (Yaouba et al.,
2010; Lang and Buchbauer, 2012). The use of EOs as
alternatives in food preservation due to their low
toxicity and antifungal activity could be promising
(Burt, 2004).
Fusarium and Aspergillus cause very serious
human mycoses. The treatment of these species is
most problematic and questionable due to the toxicity
Table 3. Antibacterial potential of raw and encapsulated Pimenta dioica essential oil (Dima
et al., 2014).
Values are mean ± SD of triplicates (n = 3). Means with different lowercase superscripts in the same
row are significantly different, as determined by Tukey’s test (α = 0.05).
Diameter of inhibition zone
Raw P. dioica
type A
Bacillus subtilis MIUG B106B 1.2 ± 0.02a 3.2 ± 0.17b 2.7 ± 0.10c
Bacillus cereus MIUG B107B 1.0 ± 0.01a 5.5 ± 0.11b 4.8 ± 0.21c
Rhodotorula glutinis MIUG D7 1.0 ± 0.01a 1.8 ± 0.02b 1.1 ± 0.13a
Candida utilis MIUG D8 2.3 ± 0.03a 4.2 ± 0.20b 3.5 ± 0.17c
Saccharomyces cerevisiae 0.9 ± 0.12ab 1.1 ± 0.07a 0.7 ± 0.07b
Aspergillus niger MIUG M5 1.0 ± 0.05a 3.1 ± 0.19b 2.8 ± 0.11b
Penicillium glaucum MIUG M9 2.0 ± 0.13a 1.0 ± 0.08b 0.6 ± 0.05c
Geotrichum candidum MIUG M13 1.0 ± 0.09a 2.1 ± 0.04b 1.6 ± 0.05c
Jarquín-Enríquez, L., et al./IFRJ 28(5) : 893 - 904 897
and side effects of synthetic fungicides (Johnson and
Kauffman, 2003; Scott et al., 2007; Nucci and
Anaissie, 2007; Howard et al., 2008) which could
potentially lead to health risks (Scordino et al.,
2008). Due to the increasing incidence of resistant
fungal pathogenic species (Deising et al., 2008), the
search for novel antifungal compounds from natural
sources have also been increasing (Pinto et al., 2007;
Kumar et al., 2008; Srivastava et al., 2008).
Dima et al. (2014) reported two types of
microspheres: chitosan microspheres with P. dioica
EO covered with κ-carrageenan (type A), and
chitosan/κ-carrageenan microspheres with P. dioica
EO (type B), both of which had inhibitory effect at
different degrees against the tested microorganisms
as shown in Table 3. In order to know the significant
differences between treatments, we added to Table 3
a Tukey's analysis. Pimenta dioica EO microencap-
sulated in chitosan/κ-carrageenan exhibited an
increase in bioactive potential unlike P. dioica EO
that was not encapsulated. The antibacterial activity
of chitosan (Dutta et al., 2009) and the antifungal
activity of P. dioica EO against Saccharomyces
cerevisiae, Candida sp., and Aspergillus niger
(Oussualah et al., 2006; 2007; Kamble-Vilas and
Patil, 2008) have been well documented.
Anti-inflammatory, sedative, and spasmolytic
Some EOs have also been considered as
anti-inflammatory drugs (Pérez et al., 2011) due to
their ability to eliminate some free radicals (Miguel,
2010). Among the effects reported by EOs' bioactive
compounds is the reduction of pain sensitivity
(Lenardao et al., 2016). Some EOs also have
activities such as anxiolytics and pain relievers
(Dobetsberger and Buchbauer, 2011). Plant extracts
have been used as home remedies against
gastrointestinal disorders (Bakkali et al., 2008).
Antioxidant activity
Most EOs have antioxidant potential because
they can scavenge free radicals, and therefore, play
an important role in the prevention or control of
various diseases, as evidence suggests that many
diseases may be the result of cell damage caused by
free radicals (Edris, 2007; Adorjan and Buchbauer,
2010). This property generates an alternative for the
use of EOs as organic preservatives with antioxidant
effects. The antioxidant effects of EOs are due to the
inherent properties of some of their bioactive
components, particularly phenols, to inhibit or delay
the aerobic oxidation of organic matter (Miguel,
2010; Amorati et al., 2013).
Research has reported a correlation between
the resistance to oxidative degradation and hydroxyl
(OH) groups of chemical compounds in EOs, which
may be cytotoxic. The hydroxyl groups of EOs are
donors of hydrogen, thus eliminating the production
of free radicals in the oxidative process of lipids. In
the case of P. dioica EO, the antioxidant activity is
mainly due to methyl eugenol and eugenol, as shown
in Table 4.
The bioactive compounds of EOs is
functional and beneficial; however, some could be
cytotoxic (Bakkali et al., 2008; Raut and Karuppayil,
2014), irritant, corrosive, and phytotoxic. For this
reason, it is necessary to generate the toxicity profile
of each EO since the toxicity of an EO can vary based
on its composition (Tisserand and Young, 2014).
Pimenta dioica extract is, however, non-toxic and
reports indicate significant cytoprotective activities
(Al-Rehaily et al., 2002; Ramos et al., 2003; Nayak
and Abhilash, 2008). They can be applied as safe and
organic antifungal treatments. This could lead to the
recommendation of P. dioica EO as a modern and
effective alternative fungicide without risks to the
health of consumers (Vaccari et al., 1999; Gray et al.,
1999; Hojo et al., 2000).
Applications in food technology
Currently, novel techniques such as the
nanoencapsulation of EOs to improve their thermal
stability, controlled release in food, and bioactivity
are being developed (Lopez-Rubio et al., 2006; Bilia
et al., 2014). The common materials used to
encapsulate EOs are cellulose, starch, chitosan,
pectin, carrageenan, alginate, and xanthan. The
microencapsulation technique helps to retain and
control the release rate of active compounds, and
avoid light and heat-induced oxidation in elaborate
particles of polysaccharides and proteins between 1
and 1,000 µm in size (Martins et al., 2014).
In general, the nanoencapsulated bioactive
compounds exhibited significant efficacy over the
free form due to the increased surface area and the
protection of the encapsulated compounds from both
Antioxidant content
(FRAP) (mmol/100 g)
100.4 Carlsen et al. (2010)
DPPH (% Inhibition) 545.4 Embuscado (2015)
Total phenolic
421.5 Embuscado (2015)
Table 4. Phenolic content and antioxidant activity of
Pimenta dioica essential oil.
Jarquín-Enríquez, L., et al./IFRJ 28(5) : 893 - 904
external (oxygen, light, and moisture) and internal
environments (pH variation, chemical composition
of food, and water activity) of food systems with the
controlled release of bioactive compounds.
Although the use of nanotechnology in food
science has higher potential to boost the preservative
capacity of plant-based bioactive compounds, the
lack of information about the possible interaction of
nanoparticles with food components and living cells
limits the regulatory approval of most agents in food
systems. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the
possible interactions between nanomaterials and
food components, as well as the intended effects on
consumer health must be explored for their
application worldwide (Clemenson, 2019).
Due to the intense aroma of some EOs, their
application is limited to avoid consumer rejection
(Hyldgaard et al., 2012). For this reason, one way to
apply EOs is to encapsulate them in order to avoid
evaporation and control their release, and they can
also be applied to active packaging (Sanches-Silva et
al., 2014). The encapsulated EOs can be incorporated
into edible coatings to avoid denaturation and delay
the oxidation (Sanches-Silva et al., 2014). The
industrial application of EOs is also limited due to
their high volatility, low stability, solubility,
hydrophobicity, and photosensitivity. One way to
overcome these limitations is nanoencapsulation
applications, as they have proven to be effective in
preserving the properties of EOs in foodstuffs. Some
of the advantages offered by this technique are to
mask the intense aroma of essential oils, increase
their solubility in aqueous medium, and avoid
negative interactions with food components
(Ribeiro-Santos et al., 2017).
Flores-Martínez et al. (2017) reported the
incorporation of P. dioica EO in edible films based
on Aloe vera gelatine, producing a significant effect
on the water vapour permeability of the material that
was directly proportional to the concentration of the
EO. Badee et al. (2012) found greater flavour
retention in encapsulated oil with Arabic gum. Ahn et
al. (2008) found that rosemary extracts can inhibit
lipid oxidation by microencapsulating it. Almeida et
al. (2013) encapsulated oregano EO in starches from
different sources, and found different biological
activities. Gundewadi et al. (2018a; 2018b)
described that the nanoemulsion of basil oil showed
improved antimicrobial activity (≤ 20%) against the
two most common food spoilage fungi, Penicillium
chrysogenum and Aspergillus flavus. Lee et al.
(2017) prepared silymarin nanocapsules of
Table 5. Encapsulating materials, sources, and applications (Carlsen et al., 2010).
Encapsulating material Source Application Reference
Legume, cereal, potato,
carrot, and banana
Food preservation Fathi et al. (2014)
Cellulose Wood pulp and cotton fibre
Essential oil encapsulation
enzyme and biosensing
George and Sabapathi (2015)
Pectin Plant cell wall
Pharmaceutic gelling agents and
food preservation
Srivastava and Malviya (2011)
Guar gum Cyamopsis tetragonoloba
Food applications, encapsulation,
and food preservation
Mudgil et al. (2014)
Chitosan Crustacean shell
Food applications, encapsulation,
and food preservation
Elgadir et al. (2015)
Alginate Brown sea algae
Food applications, gelling agents,
encapsulation, and food
Lee and Mooney (2012)
Rhodophyceae family
member such as Chondrus
crispus, Eucheuma,
Gigartina stellate, Iridaea,
Hypnea, Solieria,
Agardhiella, and
Gelling agents, encapsulation,
food application, food
preservation, and stabilizing
Stanley (1987)
Xanthan Xanthomonas campestris
Food preservation, hydrogel,
matrix systems, and nanoparticles
Benny et al. (2014)
Dextran Family Lactobacillaceae
Food applications, gelling agents,
encapsulation, and food
Fathi et al. (2014)
Cyclodextrin Bacillus amylobacter
Anticancer food preservation,
food application, and reduction in
Gidwani and Vyas (2015)
water-soluble chitosan and glutamic acid. They
stated that the nanoencapsulation process significant-
ly enhanced both the solubility (7.7-fold) and
antimicrobial activity of silymarin. Mohammadi et
al. (2015) examined the in vitro and in vivo
antimicrobial activities of nanoencapsulated
Cinnamomum zeylanicum EO (Ne-CEO) against
Phytophthora drechsleri. The in vivo findings
showed that Ne-CEO significantly decreased the
severity of the disease and incidence of pathogens at
1.5 g/L. Hasani et al. (2018) prepared a mixture of
lemon EO using chitosan (CS) and modified starch
(Hicap) to boost the physicochemical properties and
thermal stability of the EO by using the freeze-drying
method. These studies confirm that nanotechnology
enhances the bioactive properties of EOs.
The molecular structures of encapsulating
agents based on plant extracts such as cellulose,
pectin, starch, and guar gum are usually used to
encapsulate EOs. In recent years, encapsulating
agents, whether animal/vegetable/microbial-based
have been used in the food industry as carriers of
volatile agents in food systems (Prakash et al., 2018).
Table 5 shows the materials used as encapsulants,
sources, and applications.
Finally, different techniques are used to
encapsulate EOs such as freeze-drying,
nanoemulsion, spray drying, and coacervation. One
of the most widely used techniques for the
encapsulation of EOs is spray drying, since its
handling is relatively simple, and the process is fast
at a relatively low cost (Yeo et al., 2001).
Today, there is a special interest in
characterising products such as spices since they are
majorly used by the food industry. Their properties
also justify their applications in other industries such
as cosmetics, fragrances, and pharmaceuticals.
Within the context of cultivated spices, P. dioica is
one of the most important, as a source for essential
oils rich in eugenol, which is a phenolic compound
with a wide spectrum of antioxidant and antimicrobi-
al activities against various microorganisms. In
Central America, P. dioica produced is sent to the
international market since its consumption in the
local market is insignificant. However, its production
and drying are largely traditional. Therefore, it is
necessary to develop mechanised technology which
requires less drying time while preserving its quality.
Regarding its application, nanoencapsulation will
facilitate the use of essential oils by protecting them
against oxygen degradation, masking the intense
aroma, increasing their solubility, and using them as
natural preservatives. Therefore, the challenge is to
develop and optimise techniques that can quantify
the phenolic compounds in essential oils that have
potential applications in the food industry.
The authors acknowledge Universidad
Politécnica de Guanajuato (UPG), Mexico via
Subdirección de Investigación, Posgrado e
Internacionalización, and Tecnológico Nacional de
México (TecNM) for their contribution and
Jarquín-Enríquez, L., et al./IFRJ 28(5) : 893 - 904 899
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Full-text available
Over the years, natural products such as essential oils have been gaining more and more prominence due to their perceived health benefits. Plants rich in essential oils represent a viable source of biomolecules for use in the most varied human activities, such as agricultural, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications. Essential oils are natural volatile fractions extracted from aromatic plants that are formed by classes of substances such as fatty acid esters, mono and sesquiterpenes, phenylpropanoids, and aldehyde alcohols, and in some cases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, among others. In this context, this book includes twelve chapters that present new information on the extraction and application of essential oils in various industrial segments. It is divided into three sections that discuss the general concepts of essential oils and techniques for their extraction, topics in food science and technology, and essential oils and their pharmacological properties in various activities and applications.
Full-text available
Pimenta dioica L. Merrill. Myrtaceae family, known for its berries called pimenta or allspice, is one of the oldest spices in the world, widely used for its culinary and medicinal qualities. The main commercial product obtained from this spice is its essential oil, the reason for the interest in essential oil is based on the versatility of its use in different industrial areas (food, cosmetics, perfumery, and pharmaceuticals) due to its harmless and beneficial effects for health. In addition, it contains compounds that have shown broad biological activity, which turns out to be useful in the treatment of diseases related to the excessive formation of oxygen radicals. As a result, the extraction process and operating conditions have a significant impact on the bioactivity of these molecules. As a consequence, selecting the correct mix of variables to improve oil extraction and functionality is essential. The most of study on this essential oil is being focused on resolving these issues, as well as purification and identification. This chapter will cover the methods for obtaining P. dioica essential oil, as well as the chemical profile of the oil and its biological properties, which include its effects on humans, plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms.
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Extensive documentation on the antimicrobial properties of essential oils and their constituents has been carried out by several workers. Although the mechanism of action of a few essential oil components has been elucidated in many pioneering works in the past, detailed knowledge of most of the compounds and their mechanism of action is still lacking. This knowledge is particularly important for the determination of the effect of essential oils on different microorganisms, how they work in combination with other antimicrobial compounds, and their interaction with food matrix components. Also, recent studies have demonstrated that nanoparticles (NPs) functionalized with essential oils have significant antimicrobial potential against multidrug-resistant pathogens due to an increase in chemical stability and solubility, decreased rapid evaporation and minimized degradation of active essential oil components. The application of encapsulated essential oils also supports their controlled and sustained release, which enhances their bioavailability and efficacy against multidrug-resistant pathogens. In the recent years, due to increasingly negative consumer perceptions of synthetic preservatives, interest in essential oils and their application in food preservation has been amplified. Moreover, the development of resistance to different antimicrobial agents by bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, etc. is a great challenge to the medical field for treating the infections caused by them, and hence, there is a pressing need to look for new and novel antimicrobials. To overcome these problems, nano-encapsulation of essential oils and exploiting the synergies between essential oils, constituents of essential oils, and antibiotics along with essential oils have been recommended as an answer to this problem. However, less is known about the interactions that lead to additive, synergistic, or antagonistic effects. A contributing role of this knowledge could be the design of new and more potent antimicrobial blends, and understanding of the interplay between the components of crude essential oils. This review is written with the purpose of giving an overview of current knowledge about the antimicrobial properties of essential oils and their mechanisms of action, components of essential oils, nano-encapsulated essential oils, and synergistic combinations of essential oils so as to find research areas that can facilitate applications of essential oils to overcome the problem of multidrug-resistant microorganisms .
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The antioxidant potential, antiglycation, and total phenolic content of essential oils (EOs) extracted from 19 medicinal plants were assessed. The variation in yield of the EOs with respect to altitude and season was also studied. The antioxidant potential of Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr., Psiadia terebinthina A.J. Scott, Laurus nobilis L., Piper betle L., and Citrus hystrix DC. showed IC50 values less/equivalent to the positive controls. Weak correlations were observed between the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) and xanthine oxidase (XO) assays as well as between the DPPH and nitric oxide radical scavenging (NO) assay and between the XO and 2,2 azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6 sulphonic acid (ABTS) assay. Cupressus macrocarpa Hartw., L. nobilis, Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees, and Psidium guajava L. successfully inhibited in vitro glycated end-products (IC50: 451.53 ± 3.00, 387.04 ± 1.53, 348.59 ± 3.34 and 401.48 ± 2.86 µg/mL respectively) compared to aminoguanidine (IC50: 546.69 ± 3.57 µg/mL). Some of the EOs had a high content of phenolic compounds. EOs such as P. dioica, P. terebinthina, L. nobilis, P. guajava, and C. hystrix were found to be rich in eugenol and other phenolic compounds. The EOs evaluated in the present study may have applications in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.
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One new species and two new combinations are here published as taxonomic updates on the all-spice genus Pimenta (Myrtaceae) for the flora of Hispaniola, Greater Antilles. Pimenta berciliae is a small tree, the type of which was found in the vicinity of the National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo. Natural populations of this species are restricted to a small area in Samaná and Cordillera Septentrional, and the preliminary assessment of its conservation status indicates an endangered species. Additionally, Eugenia yumana and Eugenia samanensis are here formally transferred to Pimenta after molecular and morphological analyses demonstrate that they belong to this latter genus. Two new combinations, Pimenta yumana and Pimenta samanensis are here provided. These three additions to the flora of Pimenta in Hispaniola increase the known diversity of the genus on the island and are important to better understand the diversity of the all-spice genus in the region.
Seeds are usual source of contamination and their sprouts are commonly associated foodborne illness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial vapor phase efficiency of allspice, thyme and rosemary essential oils on two foodborne pathogens in in vitro and on alfalfa seeds, including the chemical profile of the tested EOs and their effect on the sensory characteristics of the sprouts. Antibacterial activity was determined through the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of EOs in vapor phase to inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Typhimurium in culture media and on alfalfa seeds. Also, the germination and the effect on sensory characteristics of the sprouts were determined. Thyme EO was the most effective of the tested EOs on culture media and on alfalfa seeds, against both bacteria. When rosemary EO was tested against L. monocytogenes in alfalfa seeds, the MIC (4.0 mL/L air ) was higher, compared to the one obtained in culture media (2.7 mL/L air ). But when this EO was tested against S. Typhimurium, the MIC in alfalfa seeds was lower than in culture media (11.7 vs 13.3 mL/L air ). Allspice EO resulted more effective against both bacteria in alfalfa seeds (6.0 mL/L air for L. monocytogenes and 6.7 mL/L air for S. Typhimurium), compared to culture media (12.0 mL/L air for L. monocytogenes and 13.3 mL/L air for S. Typhimurium). Vapor phase EOs MICs resulted in significant (p ≤ 0.05) decreases of L. monocytogenes and S. Typhimurium counts compared to the control. There also was a significant (p ≤ 0.05) difference between systems (in vitro or on alfalfa seeds) despite the microorganism or the evaluated EO. Treatment alfalfa seed with vapor phase EOs, did not affect the seed germination. Sensory acceptability of the sprouts, obtained of treated seeds, did not were significant (p ≥ 0.05) different of the sprouts obtained from the non-treated seeds.
The current study aimed obtaining antimicrobial sachets that could be used as preservatives for foods. Basil (BEO) and Pimenta dioica (PDEO) essential oils (EOs) were analyzed by GC-FID and GC–MS and tested against the foodborne bacteria S. aureus, E. coli, L. monocytogenes, P. aeruginosa, S. Enteritidis, and the food-spoilage mold B. nivea. Then, inclusion complexes (ICs) with EOs and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) were prepared as a strategy to reduce volatility and increase the release time of EOs. Eight ICs were prepared by kneading and freeze-drying methods, in two molar ratios, and have been characterized by complementary methods: FT-IR, thermal analysis (DSC and TG/DTG), powder XRD, and solid state ¹³C NMR. In vitro antimicrobial activities of ICs, both dispersed in agar and loaded in sachets, have also been investigated. Complexation was confirmed for all samples. PDEO-based ICs prepared by kneading method, at both molar ratios, displayed better in vitro antimicrobial activity. The obtained results strongly suggest a potential application of these ICs as natural antimicrobials.
Demand for organic chemical-free formulations in food industry for the purpose of food preservation has triggered exploration of biosurfactants capable of nano-emulsification. Extraction protocol for saponin from fruit pericarp of Sapindus mukorossi was standardized. Saponin was characterized through FTIR and NMR. Solvents were found to have significant influence on the critical micelle concentration (CMC). Aqueous extraction yielded higher CMC (666.67 ppm) over 1:1 water: ethanol (416.67 ppm) and ethanolic extract (370.37 ppm). Aqueous extract of S. mukorossi (0.4%) was used as biosurfactant for nanoemulsification of basil oil through ultra-sonication. DLS and TEM confirmed its efficacy for nanoemulsification based on droplet size of 37.7 and 57.6 nm and stability tests. The formulated nanoemulsion was investigated for its antimicrobial activity against common food spoilage fungi Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus flavus. Basil oil thus nanoemulsified was found to have higher inhibitory activity (upto 20%) over its coarse emulsion. Formulated nanoemulsion at 1000 ppm was found to have 64-67% inhibitory activity over these pathogens compared to standard fungicide Carbendazim. Sapindus mukorossi can thus emerge as potential source of biosurfactant for formulating emulsion based preparations for food safety.
Okra holds major share of domestic and export vegetable market, but has a short shelf life owing to desiccation and fungal spoilage. Alginate coating containing nanoemulsified basil (Ocimum basilicum. L) oil was attempted for maintaining its postharvest quality and preventing spoilage. O/W nanoemulsion was prepared by using basil oil with synthetic surfactant and a naturally sourced surfactant: Tween 20 and aqueous extract of Sapindus mukorossi using ultrasonication respectively. Alginate coatings with basil oil nano-emulsified with Tween 20 (ATNE) and Sapindus extract (ASNE) were compared for their effect on PLW (Physiological loss in weight), colour, texture and acceptability of okra pods stored at 5 ± 1 °C and 24 ± 2 °C. Coatings were able to retard loss of moisture, colour and firmness during storage. Compared to 10.05% weight loss in uncoated pods (con-trol), PLW in ASNE and ATNE was recorded as 7.38% and 8.32% respectively after 4 days of cold storage. Increase in L* value during storage was 26.39% for control pods compared to 14.98% in coated pods. a* value and browning index revealed better effectiveness of ASNE coating for colour retention during storage. Developed formulations were found effective against spoilage fungi Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus flavus. Effective concentration for 50% inhibition of pathogens was determined using probit analysis. EC 50 values were lower for sapindus emulsified basil oil over Tween 20 based nano-emulsion. In vivo trials on okra inoculated with Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus flavus yielded promising results. Thus alginate coating with basil oil nano-emulsified with Sapindus extract can emerge as a promising non-chemical approach towards extending post-harvest quality and shelf life of okra.
Lemon essential oils (LEOs) as a bioactive compound with health beneficial potential are used as safe additives in foods, medicine and nutritional supplements. However, it is a chemical compound which is sensitive to light, thermal condition and oxidation. To overcome these challenge encapsulation could be an adequate technique to protect them from degradation and evaporation. In this study, nanocapsules based on chitosan (CS) and modified starch (Hicap) with LEOs as an active ingredient was prepared by freeze-drying. The produced nanocapsules were characterized by their structural and physicochemical properties. It was found that nanocapsules produced by using CS: Hi-cap (1.5%:8.5%) clearly showed the highest encapsulation efficiency (85.44%) and Zeta potential value (+44.23 mV). In vitro release studies demonstrated a prolonged release of the samples with larger CS ratio. Most nanocapsules sizes ranged from 339.3 to 553.3 nm. The obtained nanocapsules showed a rough surface without the spherical shape as represented by Scanning electron microscopy images. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermogram and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy techniques confirmed the success of LEOs encapsulation. The desirable physicochemical properties and thermal stability specified that such nanocapsules have promising application in delivery of LEOs in medicine and food industries.
Plant essential oils (EOs) possesses remarkable antimicrobial efficacy and therefore have great potential as an alternative of health hazardous synthetic preservatives. In spite of marvellous efficacy, their application yet not widely used by the food industries due to some of the major intrinsic obstacles viz., low water solubility, bioavailability, volatility and stability in the food system. The recent advancement in nanotechnology has potential to address these existing obstacles of EOs as preservatives in the food system. The applications of nanomaterials as a carrier agent of EOs recently gain momentum of interest by the food industries to improve their shelf-life and preservatives efficacy at low doses. Nanoemulsions, microemulsions, solid-lipid nanoparticles and liposomes are some of the currently used encapsulation strategies to encapsulate plant bioactive compounds. In this review, we explored the potential application of nanoencapsulated plant EOs as novel source of food preservatives. In addition, the prospects, existing limitations and future research direction for their commercialization are also discussed.