Prevent food spoilage with bald cypress essential oil

Egyptian researchers evaluated the antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties of the essential oil of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). They reported that the numerous bioactive compounds in the oil could help preserve food for longer periods by inhibiting the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

Ain-Shams University provided support for the study. The researchers published their paper in the journal Industrial Crops and Products.

  • An analysis identified 37 different compounds in bald cypress essential oil. Monoterpene hydrocarbons comprised the largest group of components (90.4 percent), while alpha-pinene was the most common individual compound (83.1 percent of all content).
  • In the antibacterial and anti-fungal tests, the essential oil succeeded in stopping the growth of most strains of the fungi, gram-positive bacteria, and gram-negative bacteria. It proved extremely toxic to the Bacillus subtilis and methicillin?resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pathogens.
  • Against Klebsiella pneumonia, the bald cypress essential oil matched the effectiveness of the common antibiotic gentamycin. The oil was also very effective against Salmonella typhimurium.
  • The essential oil achieved significant antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus. It also displayed strong anti-mycobacterial activity during the Alamar Blue assay test.
  • In addition to directly stopping the pathogens from growing any further, the bald cypress essential oil also created inhibition zones. The size of these zones varied according to the strain, but no pathogenic bacteria or fungi could grow within them.

The findings indicated that bald cypress essential oil could suppress a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, including the ones responsible for food spoilage. Furthermore, the researchers noted that the individual compounds of the oil could enhance the effectiveness of other antimicrobial agents. has more helpful articles on the many uses of plant-based essential oils.

Journal Reference:

Al-Sayed E. UNEARTHING THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF TAXODIUM DISTICHUM (L.) RICH. LEAF ESSENTIAL OIL AND ITS ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY. Industrial Crops and Products. 9 October 2018;126:76–82. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.10.009.

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