African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5233

Full Length Research Paper

Chemical analysis and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Syzigium aromaticum (clove)

G. A. Ayoola1*, F. M. Lawore1, T. Adelowotan2, I. E. Aibinu2, E. Adenipekun2, H. A. B. Coker1 and T. O. Odugbemi2
1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy,University of Lagos, CMUL campus, Lagos, Nigeria. 2Depatment of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 June 2008
  •  Published: 31 July 2008


Steam distillation of the dry flower buds of Syzigium aromaticum (clove) yielded 7% (w/w) of the pure light yellow oil. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the oil revealed that the components were eugenol, caryophyllene, eugenol acetate and alpha-humelene, with eugenol being the main component. The antimicrobial sensitivity of the volatile oil against some Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli ATCC 35218, Escherichia coliKlebsiella pneumoniaeSalmonella paratyphiCitrobacter spp. and Enterobacter cloacae), a Gram-positive bacterium (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923), and a fungus (Candida albicans) showed a broad spectrum of activity. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined for each organism as 2.4, 1.6, 0.27, 0.016, 0.23, 1.63, 0.73 and 0.067 mg/ml for S. aureus ATTC 25923, E. cloacaeS. paratyphiK. pneumoniaeE. coli ATTC 35218, E. coliCitrobacter spp. and C. albicans, respectively. Antioxidant screening of clove oil with 2,2-diphenyl-picryl-hydrazyl radical (DPPH) was positive, indicating the presence of free radical scavenging molecules which can be attributed to the presence of eugenol, a phenolic compound.


Key words: Syzigium aromaticum, clove oil, antimicrobial, antifungal, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Gas chromatography, mass spectrometry.