Composition and antimicrobial activities of Lippia multiflora Moldenke, Mentha x piperita L. and Ocimum basilicum L. essential oils and their major monoterpene alcohols alone and in combination.
Essential oils from leaves of Lippia multiflora, Mentha x piperita and Ocimum basilicum from Burkina Faso were analysed by GC-FID and GC-MS. Major components were p-cymene, thymol, b-caryophyllene, carvacrol and carvone for L. multiflora, menthol and iso-menthone for M. x piperita and, linalool and eugenol for O. basilicum. The essential oils and their major monoterpene alcohols were tested against nine bacterial strains using the disc diffusion and broth microdilution methods. The essential oils with high phenolic contents were the most effective antimicrobials. The checkerboard method was used to quantify the efficacy of paired combinations of essential oils and their major components. The best synergetic effects among essential oils and major components were obtained with combinations involving O. basilicum essential oil and eugenol, respectively. As phenolic components are characterized by a strong spicy aroma, this study suggests that the selection of certain combinations of EOs could help to reduce the amount of essential oils and consequently reduce any adverse sensory impact in food.