Phytochemistry, pharmacological investigations, industrial applications, and encapsulation of Thymbra capitata L., a review

Charfi Saoulajan, Nadia Boujida, Amina El Mihyaoui, Aafaf El Baakili, Mohammed Merae Alshahrani, Learn-Han Lee, Abdelhakim Bouyahya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Thymbra capitata is a medicinal and aromatic plant of the Lamiaceae family. Essential oils, organic extracts, and vegetable oils from this species showed a diversity of health-promoting phytochemicals. Scope and approach: The objective of the present review is to highlight the findings related to Thymbra capitata, including medicinal uses, bioactive compounds, biological activities, food preservation (animal feed supplement, agriculture, and medicinal application), and encapsulation for possible incorporation into industrial applications. Key findings and conclusions: Thymbra capitata essential oil is characterized by the presence of numerous volatile compounds, particularly carvacrol and thymol as major chemotypes. Essential oils, organic extracts, vegetable oils, and hydrolats exhibited different biological properties, including antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and other effects. These biological properties were mainly correlated with the chemical compounds present in tested products. Furthermore, some industrial applications of Thymbra capitata essential oils and extracts have been explored. Indeed, this species was used for food preservation (such as fruit juices, fruits and vegetables, milk, vegetable oils, meat, and fish food), feed supplements for animals, agriculture, medicinal application, and other applications. Moreover, industrial applications have been proven for encapsulated and incorporated Thymbra capitata essential oils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-491
Number of pages29
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Encapsulation
  • Essential oil
  • Extract
  • Food industry
  • Industrial applications
  • Thymbra capitata

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