Biological Significance of Spicy Essential Oils

Sumitra Maurya, Ajeet Kumar Kushwaha, Gurdip Singh


Spices are used as food additives since ancient times, as flavouring agents but also as natural food preservatives. Spice essential oils are complex mixtures of volatile substances, ordinarily terpenes, sesquiterpenes and oxygenated derivatives. They have been largely employed for their properties already observed in nature i.e., for their antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal properties. At present, approximately 3000 essential oils are known, 300 of which are commercially important especially for pharmaceutical, agronomic, food, sainitary, cosmetic and perfume industries. It is important to develop a better understanding of their mode of action for new applications in human health, agriculture and environment. Some of them constitute effective alternatives or complements to synthetic compounds of chemical industry.


Spice essential oil; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Insecticidal; Food additives

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