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Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. 2019 Jan-Mar;18(1):13-23. doi: 10.17306/J.AFS.0624.

Influence of oregano essential oil on the inhibition of selected pathogens in "Alheira" during storage.

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Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal.



Plant-derived essential oils (EOs) have shown remarkable antimicrobial potential against spoil- age and pathogenic microorganisms in meat and meat products. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of oregano EO on the inhibition of Salmonella Enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylo- coccus aureus in an internal mixture of “Alheira” during storage.


Different concentrations of oregano EO (4%, 1.5%, 0.5%, 0.195% and 0.0975%) were evaluated against the selected pathogens during 21 days of storage at 4°C. The pH and water activity values and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) counts were also evaluated. Finally, sensory assessment was performed.


The antibacterial effect varied according to the oregano EO concentration used, and target pathogen. Oregano EO at 4% demonstrated the highest antimicrobial activity against all the pathogens tested. The low- est concentrations used (0.195% and 0.0975%) resulted in ~2–3 log reduction, but only for L. monocytogenes after 21 days of storage. Counts of LAB were ~109 CFU/ml for all samples and no differences in the pH and aw values were detected between samples. However, at a concentration of 0.195%, Oregano EO had a negative impact on consumer acceptance of “Alheira”.


These results could be interesting for the meat industry, as a starting point for other studies that have now to concentrate on strategies to “mask” unpleasant sensorial alterations caused by EOs in “Alheira” and helping the industry to ensure the microbiological safety of its products.


fermented meat sausage; food safety; foodborne pathogens; oregano essential oil


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