• Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry;
  • clove;
  • essential oil;
  • Listeria monocytogenes;
  • antibacterial activity;
  • antifungal activity;
  • antioxidant activity;
  • polyunsaturated fatty acids


The essential oil from clove Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against a collection of 25 different genera of test bacteria and 20 different isolates of Listeria monocytogenes. The oil was also tested against three fungal strains: a plant pathogen, a spoilage type and a mycotoxigenic strain. This resulted in high levels of growth inhibition at both concentrations of 1 and 10 μl ml−1 growth medium. The essential oil was fed to mice in order to assess the antioxidant capacity, with particular reference to the protection of polyunsaturated fatty acids, in the liver and retina during ageing.