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Chemical characterization and antimicrobial properties of herbs and spices essential oils against pathogens and spoilage bacteria associated to dry-cured meat products

García-Díez, Juan, Alheiro, Joana, Falco, Virgílio, Fraqueza, Maria João, Patarata, Luís
The Journal of essential oil research 2017 v.29 no.2 pp. 117-125
anti-infective properties, basil, black pepper, chemical composition, cinnamon, cumin, cured meats, essential oils, food industry, garlic, lemons, manufacturing, microbial growth, minimum inhibitory concentration, nutmeg, parsley, pathogens, smoke, spoilage bacteria, synergism, tarragon, thyme, wines
Use of herbs and spices essential oils (EOs) in meat products may be interesting to food processors due to their antimicrobial characteristics. The current study determines the chemical composition of selected EOS of herbs and spices with potential utilization in traditional meat products manufacture and their in vitro antimicrobial effect against selected food borne and spoilage microorganisms. The antimicrobial effect of EOs studied was variable according to their chemical composition. Thus, EOs of thyme, garlic and cinnamon presented the best antimicrobial activity however, EOs of orange, basil and tarragon were considered non inhibitory. Other EOs such as cumin, bay, black pepper, lemon, parsley or nutmeg displayed an interesting antimicrobial effect however, their potential utilization could be difficult due to punctual microbial inhibition and/or by high MIC values. However, some of the EOs tested, albeit the expected sensory implications, might be useful in the manufacture of dry-cured meat products, once these products in several European formulations are strongly aromatised by wine and smoke and it is expected a synergistic effect with other hurdles to microbial growth and survival.