MDPI, Molecules, 21(25), p. 5126, 2020
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Essential oils (EOs) obtained from aromatic plants are widely used worldwide, especially in cosmetic and food products due to their aroma and biological properties and health benefits. Some EOs have significant antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, and thus could effectively increase the shelf lives of foodstuff and beverages. In this study, fourteen essential oils (clove, eucalyptus, fennel, lavender, oregano, palmarosa, pepper, star anise, tea tree, turmeric, Chinese yin yang, Japanese yin yang, and ylang ylang) from different medicinal plant families were screened by gas-chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for their different chemical profiles and bioassays were performed to assess their antifungal and antioxidant activities. The results obtained were assessed by principal component analysis (PCA). PCA distinguished six groups characterized by different terpene chemotypes. Amongst the EOs studied, the clove EO showed the strongest antioxidant activity characterized by an EC50 of 0.36 µL/mL. The oregano EO had the greatest antiyeast activity characterized by a minimal inhibitory concentration of 10 µL/mL. In conclusion, clove and oregano EOs are strong antifungal and antioxidant agents, respectively, with great potential in the food industry to avoid spoilage and to increase shelf life.