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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 152487, 11 pages
Research Article

Chemical Composition, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Thymus capitata Essential Oil with Its Preservative Effect against Listeria monocytogenes Inoculated in Minced Beef Meat

1Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Bioactive Molecules (LIP-MB), Institut National de Sciences Appliquées et de Technologie (INSAT), BP 676, 1080 Tunis Cedex, Tunisia
2Laboratoire d’Epidémiologie et d’Ecologie des Parasites, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, BP 74, 1002 Tunis Belvédère, Tunisia
3Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia
4Institut Supérieur des Etudes Technologiques de Zaghouan, 1121 Mograne, Tunisia

Received 24 November 2013; Accepted 10 January 2014; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Fabio Firenzuoli

Copyright © 2014 Nariman El Abed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, and the preservative effect of Thymus capitata essential oil against Listeria monocytogenes inoculated in minced beef meat were evaluated. The essential oil extracted was chemically analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Nineteen components were identified, of which carvacrol represented (88.89%) of the oil. The antioxidant activity was assessed in vitro by using both the DPPH and the ABTS assays. The findings showed that the essential oil exhibited high antioxidant activity, which was comparable to the reference standards (BHT and ascorbic acid) with IC50 values of 44.16 and 0.463 μg/mL determined by the free-radical scavenging DPPH and ABTS assays, respectively. Furthermore, the essential oil was evaluated for its antimicrobial activity using disc agar diffusion and microdilution methods. The results demonstrated that the zone of inhibition varied from moderate to strong (15–80 mm) and the minimum inhibition concentration values ranged from 0.32 to 20 mg/mL. In addition, essential oil evaluated in vivo against Listeria monocytogenes showed clear and strong inhibitory effect. The application of 0.25 or 1% (v/w) essential oil of T. capitata to minced beef significantly reduced the L. monocytogenes population when compared to those of control samples (-value  ).