Thyme Oil Encapsulated in Halloysite Nanotubes for Antimicrobial Packaging System

Min Hyeock Lee, Hyun Sun Seo, Hyun Jin Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


An antimicrobial capsule releasing thyme oil was developed using modified halloysite nanotubes (HNTs). In order to increase the pore volume, HNTs were treated with 5.0 mol/L NaOH solution, which resulted in the encapsulation of more thyme oil molecules inside the HNTs. The morphology of the raw HNTs and NaOH-treated HNTs (N-HNTs) was characterized using transmission electron microscopy and nitrogen adsorption-desorption analysis. The loading capacity increased from 180.7 ± 12.7 to 256.4 ± 16.7 mg thyme oil/g HNT after the NaOH treatment. The aerial release characteristics of thyme oil from both the HNT capsules were investigated in a closed-package atmosphere system at 4, 25, and 40 °C. The antimicrobial activity of the capsule against Escherichia coli O157:H7 was determined using the vapor phase assay. Moreover, the antimicrobial effects of the capsule against E. coli O157:H7, total mesophilic aerobic bacteria (MAB), and molds and yeasts (MY) on the surfaces of cherry tomatoes were investigated at 4 and 25 °C for 5 d. When the cherry tomatoes were exposed to the thyme oil-loaded N-HNT capsule, the number of E. coli O157:H7, MAB, and MY significantly reduced during storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-932
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Korea Univ. grant, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology for BK21PLUS and by the Korea Inst. of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET) through the High Value-Added Food Technology Development Program, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) (313035-03-3-HD020).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®


  • antimicrobial capsule
  • fresh produce
  • halloysite nanotube
  • thyme oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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