The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chitosan coatings, oregano essential oil, and their combination on microbial quality of chicken fillet during 12 days in refrigerator temperature.
Oregano oil was extracted by water distillation and then different concentrations of oregano oil (1% and 2%) were used for film preparation. Microbiological tests were carried out on the chicken fillet samples stored in 4 °C at different intervals including days 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12.
Treated groups with chitosan and oregano oil affected the increase rate of aerobic plate counts, coliform counts, and total psychrophilic counts significantly compared to the control group across the entire storage period (P < 0.05). Chitosan-based edible film containing oregano oil inhibited microbial growth on chicken fillet. Microbial populations were reduced by 2.14-3.53 log CFU/g in groups treated with chitosan and oregano oil. Our results revealed that incorporation of oregano essential oil at 2% concentration had the highest inhibitory effect on spoilage microorganisms in coated chicken fillet during 12 days of storage at refrigerator.
Generally, application of oregano essential oil at 2% concentration had the potential to enhance safety and shelf-life of chicken fillet.