Investigations were conducted to evaluate the antifungal activities of the essential oils of Lippia rugosa, Plectranthus glandulosus, Clausena anisata and Vepris heterophylla and some essential oils compounds as citral, geraniol, nerol, citronellol, fenchone, linalool, 1,8 cineol, nerolidol, terpen 4-ol and -terpinolene on mycelia growth of different strains of Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium genus, common fungi causing spoilage of stored food product. The disc diffusion method was used to evaluate fungal growth inhibition at various concentrations. The strains of fungi exhibited similar susceptibilities (90 mm) to the action of L. rugosa essential oil and different susceptibilities (34 - 90 mm) to P. glandulosus, 0 to 44 mm to C. anisata and 0 to 30 mm to V. heterophylla essential oils. These inhibition halos varied from 0 to 84 mm according to each compound activity. The mycelial growth of fungal species tested was totally inhibited by MIC values ranged from 0.2 to 0.6 mg/ml for L. rugosa, 0.8 to 2 mg/ml for P. glandulosus and 0.5 to 1.2 mg/ml for citral, geraniol, nerol and citronellol which are the more active among the ten components tested. Results obtained indicate the possibility of exploiting L. rugosa, P. glandulosus essential oils and citral, geraniol, nerol, and citronellol to fight these strains responsible for biodeterioration of stored food.
Key words: Sanitizing agents, essential oils, antifungal activity, essential oil constituents.