Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of fennel, ginger, oregano and thyme essential oils

Aysegul Mutlu-Ingok, Gizem Catalkaya, Esra Capanoglu*, Funda Karbancioglu-Guler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the aim was to evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of thyme (Thymus vulgaris), oregano (Origanum vulgare), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) essential oils in addition to their chemical compositions. Based on the results of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC—MS) analysis, major components were thymol and p-cymene in thyme, carvacrol, and p-cymene in oregano, α-zingiberene and ar-curcumene in ginger and (E)-anethole in fennel essential oils. Essential oils were investigated for their antimicrobial activities by agar well diffusion and broth microdilution methods against Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. The inhibition zone diameters varied from 9.2 ± 0.7 to 28.7 ± 2.1 mm for C. jejuni and 14.7 ± 2.0 to 27.8 ± 2.8 mm for C. coli. While the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were lower for thyme and oregano EOs (5.65–43.20 μg/ml), the highest MIC value was obtained in fennel EO against C. jejuni (28530 μg/ml). Total phenolic contents and antioxidant activities of these essential oils were evaluated by using Folin Ciocalteu, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), Cupric Reducing Antioxidant Capacity (CUPRAC) and 2, 2-azinobis(3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline)-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) methods. The total phenolic content of the essential oils ranged between 7.72 (ginger) to 193 (thyme) mg GAE/L. Antioxidant activities of thyme and oregano were found to be the highest according to the ABTS method, whereas thyme was found to be the highest by the CUPRAC method and ginger by the DPPH method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-518
Number of pages11
JournalFood Frontiers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Food Frontiers published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd and Nanchang University, Northwest University, Jiangsu University, Zhejiang University, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University.


The authors wish to thank Anadolu University, Medicinal Plants, Drugs and Scientific Research Center (AUBIBAM), Eskisehir, Turkey for GC and GC/MS analyses. This research was supported by Istanbul Technical University, Scientific Research Projects (Project no. 38819).

FundersFunder number
Medicinal Plants, Drugs and Scientific Research Center
Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi38819
Anadolu Üniversitesi


    • antibacterial activity
    • antioxidant activity
    • Campylobacter spp
    • chemical composition
    • Foeniculum vulgare
    • Origanum vulgare
    • Thymus vulgaris
    • Zingiber officinale


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