The Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia

E. Gkogka, W.C. Hazeleger, M.A. Posthumus, R.R. Beumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

7 Citations (Scopus)


The essential oil of the resin of Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia (mastic oil) was studied in vitro against a wide range of foodborne pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms with a diffusion and a dilution method. Furthermore its chemical composition was analyzed by means of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and the possibility of using the essential oil in food preservation was discussed. The Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) of mastic oil were estimated for 6 species of bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus), 2 species of yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zygosaccharomyces bailii) and 3 species of fungi (Penicillium roquefortii, Aspergillus flavus and Eurotium amstelodami). GC-MS analysis revealed a chemotype dominated by monoterpenes, principally alpha-pinene and beta-myrcene comprising more than 90 % of the mastic oil. Both methods showed Cl. perfringens as the most susceptible microorganism followed by S. cerevisiae and Z. bailii. With the exception of C. jejuni, Gram-positive were found to be more susceptible to the essential oil than Gram-negative microorganisms and all fungi appeared very resistant to mastic oil. Based on the observed MICs, the contribution of mastic oil to the preservation of bakery/confectionary products at the amounts currently used for flavoring purposes is likely to be negligible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-729
JournalJournal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • plant essential oils
  • tea tree oil
  • escherichia-coli o157-h7
  • helicobacter-pylori
  • mastic gum
  • listeria-monocytogenes
  • chemical-composition
  • in-vitro
  • antibacterial activity
  • staphylococcus-aureus

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