Study of chemical structure, antimicrobial, cytotoxic and mechanism of action of Syzygium aromaticum essential oil on foodborne pathogens


  • Behrooz Alizadeh Behbahani Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Technology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Postal Code: 6341773637, Mollasani, Iran, Tel.: +989168729619
  • Mohammad Noshad Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Technology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Postal Code: 6341773637, Mollasani, Iran, Tel.: +989173238580
  • Fereshteh Falah Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Food Science and Technology, Azadi Street, Postal Code: 9177948974, Mashhad, Iran, Tel: +989174059029



Syzygium aromaticum, Scanning electron microscopy, Cytotoxic effect, Antimicrobial activity, HT29 cell line


In this study, chemical composition (gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy), chemical structure (fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) and antioxidant potential (β-carotene bleaching assay and DPPH/ABTS-radical scavenging activity tests) of Syzygium aromaticum essential oil (SAEO) were evaluated. Eugenol (75.11%) was found to be the major compound of SAEO. Eugenol, as the main chemical constituent of SAEO, showed its signature peaks in the wavenumber range of 720 – 1250 cm-1, ascribing to the C=C region. The antimicrobial activity of SAEO on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria innocua and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were evaluated. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was then applied to unravel the antibacterial mechanism of SAEO on E. coli as the most resistant strain and L. innocua as the most sensitive strain. The MTT assay was also used to investigate the cytotoxicity effect of SAEO on human colonic cancer cell lines (HT29 cell line) and the highest cytotoxic effect was observed at 200 mg.mL-1 concentration of SAEO. The SEM micrographs revealed that the SAEO treatment was able to manifestly increase the cell permeabilization and membrane integrity disruption. This means that the entirety of the cell membranes was remarkably affected by the essential oil, which could lead to cytoplasm secretion and subsequent cell death. The data strongly suggest that SAEO had a potential antioxidant, antimicrobial and cytotoxicity activity.


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How to Cite

Behbahani, B. A., Noshad, M., & Falah, F. (2019). Study of chemical structure, antimicrobial, cytotoxic and mechanism of action of Syzygium aromaticum essential oil on foodborne pathogens. Potravinarstvo Slovak Journal of Food Sciences, 13(1), 875–883.

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