Abstract: To expand natural food additives in replacement of chemicals,steam distillation was applied to extract essential oil of lemon balm,followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry(GC-MS) to clarify components of the essential oil.After dilution,an antimicrobial screening was performed with three pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus,Escherichia coli,Micrococcus tetragenus) using kirby-bauer method.IC50 was determined by dilution plating procedure subsequently.The results showed that the 25.91% of lemon balm essential oil were aliphatic compounds,20.16% were aromatic compounds and 53.93% were terpenoids.The lemon balm essential oil showed the weakest inhibition on S.aureus and the strongest inhibition on M.tetragenus.The inhibition intensity increased with the concentration of essential oil.The IC50 of lemon balm essential oil to M.tetragenus was 457 μg/mL.The essential oil of lemon balm had strong inhibitory effect on M.tetragenus,and the antimicrobial components were caryophyllene oxide,citronellal and 2,6-octadienal,3,7-dimethyl.
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