Chitosan and Oregano Oil Treatments, Individually or in Combination, Used To Increase the Shelf Life of Vacuum-Packaged, Refrigerated European Eel () Fillets.
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We investigated the impact of chitosan and oregano essential oil (EO) individually or in combination on the quality of eel fillets in vacuum packaging (VP) and stored under refrigeration (4°C). Treatments studied were (i) control eel fillets stored in VP (E), (ii) eel fillets treated with 0.3% (v/w) oregano EO and stored in VP (E-OR), (iii) eel fillets treated with 2.0% (w/v) chitosan and stored in VP (E-CH), and (iv) eel fillets treated with 2.0% (w/v) chitosan and 0.3% (v/w) oregano EO and stored in VP (E-CH-OR). Treatments E-CH-OR and E-CH significantly reduced counts of mesophilic bacteria, and yeasts and molds during storage. Use of chitosan alone or in combination with oregano EO led to a significant reduction in concentrations of trimethylamine nitrogen and total volatile basic nitrogen in fillets, which led to lower concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances compared with the control samples. The eel samples in the E-CH and E-CH-OR groups were sensorially acceptable during the entire refrigerated storage period of 18 days. Presence of chitosan in the E-CH and E-CH-OR fillets did not negatively affect the taste of the fillets. E-CH fillets received a higher taste score than did E-CH-OR fillets probably because of the distinct and "spicy" lemon taste of chitosan, which was well received by the sensory panel. Based on overall sensory data (based on mean sensory scores of odor and taste), the shelf life was 6 days for the control fillets, 10 days for the E-OR fillets, and >18 days for the E-CH and E-CH-OR fillets stored in VP at 4°C. Overall, chitosan-treated eel fillets had lower microbial loads and a longer shelf life compared with the controls. Chitosan-treated eel fillets were preferred over oregano-treated fillets. Chitosan alone or in combination with oregano could be used as a preservative treatment and shelf-life extender for other seafoods.
- Human Nutrition [66 items ]