Known as “the Borderless City,” Pécs, Hungary,
was indeed an ideal location to host the 48th
International Symposium on Essential Oils (ISEO)
on September 10–13, 2017, at the Hotel Palatinus.
In 2010, Pécs was awarded the European Capital of
Culture, attracting people from all over the world,
including this year’s diverse attendees.
ISEO hosted 152 participants from 32 countries
to discuss the current and future use of essential oils
through oral and poster presentations. Additionally,
the conference hosted the Young Scientist
Fellowship, which featured 20 young scientist
lectures, funded by the International Federation of
Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT); six were
given as oral presentations, and 14 as poster presentations. The Fellowship provided free attendance to
the conference, and recipients were selected by the
IFEAT executive committee.
“ISEO symposia have been organized annually
in Europe since 1969. Each year, this symposium
provides an excellent possibility for academic and
industrial scientists [to discuss] the latest and novel
research findings focusing on essential oils and volatiles,” said Györgyi Horváth, president of the ISEO
2017 local organizing committee.
Natural Antimicrobials for Food
Case studies in a variety of presentations showed
the diversity of essential oil properties. Ana Cristina
Figuerido, University of Lisbon, discussed their
use as effective pesticides against plant parasitic
nematodes (PPN). PPNs are small, eel-like parasites that can infect nearly every plant species and
Pinus pinaster oil was lethal to PPN, reducing their
numbers in vitro.
Sandy F. van Vuuren, Department of Pharmacy
and Pharmacology, University of the Witwatersrand,
discussed antimicrobial activity in essential oils.
Through chemometric algorithms, her team found
a connection between chemistry and antimicrobial
activity; particularly how combinations of essential
oils showed high efficacy levels against acne. These
included tea tree oil and bergamot; myrrh and ylang
ylang; and lavender and sage. These findings indicated that despite how tea tree oil is marketed, its
antimicrobial activity is not as high as cinnamon,
sandalwood or vetiver against P. acnes and S. epider-midis. Additionally, she noted
that a-cubebene, eugenol and
nerol contain the highest levels
of beta activity to effectively treat
As one of the world’s most
widespread and adapted species,
juniper has a wide range of
applications in folk medicine,
alcoholic beverages and cooking,
explained Valtcho D. Zheljazkov,
Crop and Soil Department,
Oregon State University. The
plant’s oil is found in its roots
and offers a myriad of health
benefits—from improving blood
circulation to toxin removal
from the body, among others.
Investigating Essential Oils and Volatiles at ISEO 2017
All photos courtesy of Tamás Thaler.
This year, the historical city of Pécs, Hungary, hosted 152 participants from
32 countries for the 48th ISEO.
Posters were an opportunity for budding scientists to share current and ongoing research surrounding essential oil applications
in wellness, agriculture, fragrance and flavor.