In this study, the effect of three essential oils (EOs) – clove oil (CO), thyme oil (TO), and garlic oil (GO), which are generally recognized as safe – on the planktonic growth, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), motility, biofilm formation, and quorum sensing (QS) of Vibrio parahaemolyticus was investigated. All three EOs showed bacteriostatic activity, with MICs in the range 0.02%–0.09% (v/v). CO and TO completely controlled planktonic growth at 0.28% and 0.08% (v/v), which is four times their MIC (4 × MIC), after 10 min, whereas GO completely controlled growth at 0.36% (v/v) (4 × MIC) after treatment for 20 min. V. parahaemolyticus motility was significantly reduced by all three EOs at 4 × MIC (0.28% for CO, 0.08% for TO, and 0.36% for GO), whereas QS was controlled and biofilm formation reduced by all three EOs at 8 × MIC (0.56% for CO, 0.16% for TO, and 0.72% for GO) after 30 min of treatment. These results suggest that CO, TO, and GO have a significant inhibitory effect on V. parahaemolyticus cells in biofilm sand thus represent a promising strategy for improving food safety. These results provide the evidence required to encourage further research into the practical use of the proposed EOs in food preparation processes.
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