The aim of the present study was to assess the antimicrobial activities of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) extract (50% ethanol) and its oil, and to compare their effectiveness against ten bacteria (seven Gram-positive and three Gram-negative) and seven fungi by agar well diffusion assays. Cinnamon oil exhibited a broad spectrum of antagonistic activity, as compared to its extract, by inhibiting both bacteria and fungi. The oil was found to be very effective with a lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1.25% (v/v) against Bacillus sp.,Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli and Klebsiella sp. Amongst the fungi, Rhizomucorsp. was found to be highly sensitive to the oil. Therefore, this study shows that cinnamon oil is a more potent antimicrobial agent than cinnamon extract and that it has the potential to be used as food biopreservative.
Key words: Antimicrobial, cinnamon, biopreservative, food borne pathogens, agar well diffusion, essential oil.
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