Ballester-Costa C, Sendra E, Fernández-López J, Pérez-Álvarez JA, Viuda-Martos M
In the organic food industry, no chemical additives can be used to prevent microbial spoilage. As a consequence, the essential oils (EOs) obtained from organic aromatic herbs and spices are gaining interest for their potential as preservatives. The organic Thymus zygis, Thymus mastichina, Thymus capitatus and Thymus vulgaris EOs, which are common in Spain and widely used in the meat industry, could be used as antibacterial agents in food preservation. The aims of this study were to determine (i) the antibacterial activity using, as culture medium, extracts from meat homogenates (minced beef, cooked ham or dry-cured sausage); and (ii) the antioxidant properties of organic EOs obtained from T. zygis, T. mastichina, T. capitatus and T. vulgaris. The antioxidant activity was determined using different methodologies, such as Ferrous ion-chelating ability assay, Ferric reducing antioxidant power, ABTS radical cation (ABTS•+) scavenging activity assay and 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging method; while the antibacterial activity was determined against 10 bacteria using the agar diffusion method in different meat model media. All EOs analyzed, at all concentrations, showed antioxidant activity. T. capitatus and T. zygis EOs were the most active. The IC50 values, for DPPH, ABTS and FIC assays were 0.60, 1.41 and 4.44 mg/mL, respectively, for T. capitatus whilst for T. zygis were 0.90, 2.07 and 4.95 mg/mL, respectively. Regarding antibacterial activity, T. zygis and T. capitatus EOs, in all culture media, had the highest inhibition halos against all tested bacteria. In general terms, the antibacterial activity of all EOs assayed was higher in the medium made with minced beef than with the medium elaborated with cooked ham or dry-cured sausage.
Ballester-Costa C, Sendra E, Fernández-López J et al. Assessment of Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties on Meat Homogenates of Essential Oils Obtained from Four Thymus Species Achieved from Organic Growth. Foods. 2017 Jul 28;6(8). pii: E59. doi: 10.3390/foods6080059.