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USE OF ESSENTIAL OILS FROM AROMATIC AND MEDICINAL PLANTS TO INCREASE THE SHELF LIFE OF MOUNTAIN DAIRY PRODUCTS IN ROMANIA


Liviu GACEU1,2,3, Raisa SAMOILA1, Romulus GRUIA1,2,3 Oana Bianca OPREA1


1. Transilvania University of Brasov
2. Researcher at CE-MONT/INCE/AR
3. Academy of Romanian Scientists


DOI: https://zenodo.org/doi/10.5281/zenodo.10397424
SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4808413


Abstract

The paper addresses the subject of the antimicrobial potential of essential oils from aromatic and medicinal plants present in the spontaneous mountain flora in Romania. Research shows the inhibitory effects of Thymus vulgaris essential oil on yeasts of the genera Kluyveromyces and Candida developed in sheep cheese (telemea) products. The general objective of the work is to extend the shelf life of sheep-type products, thus increasing the degree of food safety. The research methodology included the following steps: incorporation of thyme essential oil in sheep’s milk at concentrations of: 0.5%, 1%, 2%; preservation of the product for periods of 5, 10, respectively 15 days; performing comparative microbiological analyzes between the control sample and the samples with embedded essential oil; interpretation of results and formulation of conclusions. The results obtained demonstrated the action of inhibiting the development of yeasts of the genera Kluyveromyces and Candida, the number of colonies developed after 5 days decreasing from 30,000 (in the case of the control sample, without the addition of thyme essential oil) to 5,700 (in the case of the addition of essential oil in concentration of 0.5%), 100 (in case of addition of essential oil in concentration of 1%), respectively at 0, (in case of addition of essential oil in concentration of 2%). It was also highlighted the fact that the developed number of colonies was kept between limits up to an interval of 2 weeks, thus properly extending the shelf life of the studied product. The paper opens wide perspectives for the use of essential oils from Romania’s spontaneous mountain flora, to improve the preservation of mountain dairy products, future research taking into account different ways of dosing the antimicrobial agent in packaging, brine or biofilm applied during the technological process.


Keywords:

aromatic plants, essential oil, sheep cheese, mountain flora, dairy products

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