Flower Extracts and Their Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobial Agents for Food Uses and Pharmaceutical Applications
Plants with potential therapeutic value have been used from time immemorial to cure various ailments and infectious diseases. Secondary metabolites or the bioactive compounds (phytochemicals) present in plants have been reported to be accountable for various observed biological activities. Consumer awareness of the possible side effects of using chemical-based antimicrobial agents has forced researchers to identify and explore natural plant-based antimicrobial agents (or preservatives) that are toxicologically safe, especially when used in food applications. Of late, scientific evidence has been provided on the potential antimicrobial activities exhibited by certain traditionally used flower extracts or their essential oils (edible and wild). This review focuses on providing and updating available information on the antimicrobial activities exhibited by flowers, which are envisaged to find potential applications as natural preservatives for foods or applications in the pharmaceutical industries to develop new and economical herbal-based products for treating various diseases.