Indexed on: 16 Nov '16Published on: 11 Nov '16Published in: Food Chemistry
Rosemary essential oil (REO) contains bioactives having antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. This work investigated the effect of REO combined with modified atmosphere packaging conditions (MAP), in our case, aerobic, vacuum or high O2, to extend the shelf life of beef. Beef slices were wrapped in special three-layer sheets of packaging material, some with a coating of REO (active packaging, AP), and some without REO (non active packaging, NAP), and stored at 4°C for 20 days. The use of REO proved efficacious in every storage condition, as seen in the lower counts of psychrotrophics, Brochothrix thermosphacta, Pseudomonas spp., and Enterobacteriaceae in AP meat compared to NAP meat. Sensory and colourimetric analyses showed that the best packaging conditions were high-O2 atmosphere in combination with REO. Based on microbiological data, shelf life of beef was 5-6 days for AP samples packaged under aerobic conditions and 14-15 days for AP samples in high-O2 conditions.