Cyclodextrins for Essential Oils Applications

  • Miriana Kfoury
  • Lizette Auezova
  • Hélène Greige-Gerges
  • Sophie Fourmentin
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 17)


There is a growing interest for the aromatic and biological properties of essential oils, as alternatives to synthetic chemicals. Nonetheless, essential oils and their components are poorly soluble in water, and are highly sensitive to degradation and evaporation. Encapsulation in cyclodextrins can reduce these drawbacks and improve the properties of essential oils. Cyclodextrins are non-toxic cyclic oligosaccharides obtained by enzymatic degradation of starch. Cyclodextrins inclusion complexes find applications in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

This chapter reviews encapsulation of essential oils in cyclodextrins. The strength of binding between cyclodextrins and essential oils components covers a wide range of formation constants with values ranging from 13 to 166,338 M−1. The encapsulation in cyclodextrins increases the aqueous solubility of essential oils up to 16-fold and reduces oil photodegradation rates up to 44-fold, while ensuring gradual release of oils. This chapter also discusses the effect of encapsulation on biological activities such as antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of essential oils. Biological effects depend on the nature and concentrations of essential oils and cyclodextrin, the tested microorganism, and other factors. Emerging cyclodextrin-based approaches for textiles and nanofibers are also discussed.


Biological activities Cyclodextrins Essential oils Formation constant Retention Solubility Stability 





Low methylated-β-cyclodextrin


Essential oil




High performance liquid chromatography


Half maximal inhibitory concentration


Isothermal titration calorimetry


Median lethal dose


Minimal bactericidal concentration


Multiple headspace extraction


Minimum inhibitory concentration


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Randomly methylated-β-cyclodextrin


Static headspace-gas chromatography





Authors thank Marc Fourmentin from the university of the Littoral Opal Coast (ULCO), France for the illustrations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriana Kfoury
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lizette Auezova
    • 2
  • Hélène Greige-Gerges
    • 2
  • Sophie Fourmentin
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant (UCEIV, EA 4492)DunkerqueFrance
  2. 2.Bioactive Molecules Research Laboratory, Faculty of SciencesLebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon

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