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Foods 2016, 5(3), 57; doi:10.3390/foods5030057

Antimicrobial Active Packaging including Chitosan Films with Thymus vulgaris L. Essential Oil for Ready-to-Eat Meat

IPOA Research Group, Agro-Food Technology Department, School of Engineering of Orihuela, Miguel Hernandez University, Ctra. De Beniel km 3.2. 03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Qin Wang
Received: 14 June 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils)
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Abstract

An active packaging system has been designed for the shelf life extension of ready to eat meat products. The package included an inner surface coated with a chitosan film with thyme essential oil (0%, 0.5%, 1%, and 2%) not in direct contact with the meat. Our aim was to reduce the impact of thyme essential oil (EO) on meat sensory properties by using a chemotype with low odor intensity. The pH, color parameters, microbial populations, and sensory properties were assessed during 4 weeks of refrigerated storage. The presence of EO films reduced yeast populations, whereas aerobic mesophilic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and enterobacteria were not affected by the presence of the EO in the films. Meat color preservation (a *) was enhanced in the presence of EO, giving a better appearance to the packaged meat. The presence of the chitosan-EO layer reduced water condensation inside the package, whereas packages containing only chitosan had evident water droplets. Thyme odor was perceived as desirable in cooked meat, and the typical product odor intensity decreased by increasing the EO concentration. Further studies should point towards developing oil blends or combinations with natural antimicrobial agents to be incorporated into the film to improve its antimicrobial properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: active packaging; essential oils; thyme; chitosan; ready-to-eat meat; antimicrobial active packaging; essential oils; thyme; chitosan; ready-to-eat meat; antimicrobial
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Quesada, J.; Sendra, E.; Navarro, C.; Sayas-Barberá, E. Antimicrobial Active Packaging including Chitosan Films with Thymus vulgaris L. Essential Oil for Ready-to-Eat Meat. Foods 2016, 5, 57.

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