The food industry, including the meat industry, is currently looking for natural preservatives to prevent the growth of harmful microbes in foods. The potential of plant-derived antimicrobial extracts to increase the shelf life and to delay the microbiological spoilage of marinated broiler chicken cuts in modified atmosphere packages during cold storage was investigated in this study. We evaluated the impact of aqueous ethanolic extracts of Finnish sea buckthorn berries and lingonberries and supercritical CO2-extracted herbal extracts from an antimicrobial blend and oregano leaves on the shelf life of broiler meat. The commercial antimicrobial blend extract and the oregano extract inhibited the growth of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and Brochothrix thermosphacta in the marinated samples. The antimicrobial blend extract also reduced the growth of psychrotrophic aerobic bacteria, whereas the sea buckthorn and lingonberry extracts did not. Only minor antimicrobial activity against Enterobacteriaceae by all the extracts was observed. Plate count analysis, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and quantitative real-time PCR indicated that LAB, which are the major spoilage group in marinated modified atmosphere–packaged poultry products, were not significantly affected by the berry extracts studied. During this shelf-life study, LAB isolates of Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc were identified in the marinated samples. Antimicrobial blends and oregano leaf extracts can act as antimicrobial agents in marinade blends, although tailoring of the dose is needed because of their strong taste. Further studies for exploiting synergistic effects of plant extracts could contribute to the development of potential and more effective antimicrobial blends. Studies are needed in meat matrices and in product applications to demonstrate the efficacy of these compounds.
- microbiological spoilage
- plant extract
- shelf life
Alakomi, H-L., Maukonen, J., Honkapää, K., Storgårds, E., Quirin, K-W., Yang, B., & Saarela, M. (2017). Effect of Plant Antimicrobial Agents Containing Marinades on Storage Stability and Microbiological Quality of Broiler Chicken Cuts Packed with Modified Atmosphere Packaging. Journal of Food Protection, 80(10), 1689-1696. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-076