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Prolonging shelf life of lamb cutlets packed under high-oxygen modified atmosphere by spraying essential oils from North-African plants

Aida Lahmar, David Morcuende, María-Jesús Andrade, Leila Chekir-Ghedira, Mario Estévez
Meat science 2018 v.139 pp. 56-64
Deverra, Teucrium, active food packaging, animal-based foods, biopreservatives, cold storage, consumer preferences, discoloration, essential oils, lipids, oxidation, shelf life, spraying
The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of sprayable essential oils for counteracting the pro-oxidant environment created during retail display of lamb cutlets packed under high-oxygen atmosphere. North-African essential oils from Pituranthos chloranthus (PC) and Teucrium ramosissimum (TR) were applied by spraying on the surface of whole-lamb cutlets. The bio-preservative treatment led to a significant increase of their shelf life in terms of protection against lipid and protein oxidative deterioration, discoloration of lean and bone and microbiological stability during 12days of chilled storage. Furthermore, the addition of TR and PC on the surface of lamb cutlets significantly improved their appearance, increasing hence the purchase intention and consumers' preferences towards treated retailed products. This study shows that the application of a high-oxygen active packaging in combination with natural sprayable extracts is a feasible and effective strategy for protecting whole-meat muscle foods against oxidation and microbial deterioration.