Background: Fillet is a popular part of chicken carcass which its high perishability is an economic problem. The present research was designed to study the microbial, chemical, and sensorial properties of chicken fillets coated by gelatin-Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) film containing Essential Oil (EO) of Bene (Pistacia atlantica).
Methods: The chicken fillets were coated by gelatin-CMC film containing 0.3, 0.6, and 0.8% concentrations of Bene EO. Different microbial and chemical analyses were carried out at different intervals (days 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12). Data were analyzed using SPSS, Inc, Chicago, IL software (v. 18.0).
Results: Aerobic mesophylic bacteria, psychotropic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and coliform counts in Bene EO treated groups were significantly (p<0.05) lower than control group. Although there was not any difference between Staphylococcus aureus count in control and 0.3% Bene groups (p>0.05), bacterial growth was significantly (p<0.05) decreased in 0.6% and 0.8% Bene EO groups. There were not any meaningful difference (p>0.05) between thiobarbituric acid, total volatile nitrogen, and peroxide values in control and 0.3% Bene EO treated chicken fillet groups; however, these chemical parameters were significantly (p<0.05) lower in 0.6% and 0.8% Bene EO groups than control one. Both control and samples treated by 0.3% Bene EO showed the highest sensory score in all parameters while there was no significant difference between them (p>0.05). Although no changes in color and texture of samples treated by 0.6% and 0.8% Bene EO were seen, but there was a slight decline in odor and taste scores.
Conclusion: Chicken fillets coated by gelatin-CMC film containing 0.6% Bene EO showed acceptable antibacterial, antioxidant, and sensorial properties. So, the outcome of the present work can be applied in the meat industries.