The hydrodistillated essential oils and hexane extracts of two spice plants, Cymbocarpum erythraeum (DC.) Boiss. and Echinophora tenuifolia L. were analyzed by GC and GC-MS. C. erythraeum oil is rich in aliphatic aldehydes, alcohols and acids and (E)-2-decenal (26.1%), (E)-2-decen-1-ol (15.7%), (E)-2-dodecenal (13.2%) and decanal (7.8%) were the predominant components. However, ethyl palmitate (16.4%), 2-decenoic acid (14.1%) and (E)-2-dodecenal (5.2%) were the major components of the hexane extract of C. erythraeum. E. tenuifolia oil contained mainly methyl eugenol (53.0%), p-cymene (17.0%) and a-phellandrene (13.2%). The hexane extract displayed a different chemical composition, and n-tricosane (75.0%) and n-pentacosane (7.6%) were found to be the major compounds. The oils showed antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms and they were more active against the tested fungal species as compared with bacteria. The growths of important food-borne pathogens, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were also inhibited by the oils. However, hexane extract of C. erythraeum was showed weak antibacterial activity against limited number of tested bacteria. The current results showed that the essential oils of C. erythraeum and E. tenuifolia can be used in food preservation. (C) 2016 ACG Publications. All rights reserved.