• essential oil;
  • anesthetics;
  • fish;
  • fillet;
  • Lippia alba (Mill.) NE Brown;
  • lipid oxidation


BACKGROUND: Lippia alba is effective in sedating and reducing stress to fish during transportation. Because some in vitro studies have demonstrated the antioxidant activity of L. alba, we hypothesized that its use in vivo could result in antioxidant effects post mortem. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether the essential oil of L. alba (EO) used as sedative for fish transport would increase the lipid stability of fillets from silver catfish during frozen storage.

RESULTS: The exposure to the EO in vivo did not affect conjugated diene values. However, EO (30 and 40 µL L−1) delayed the peak formation of peroxides (from the third to the sixth month of storage) and thiobarbituric reactive substances (from the ninth to the twelfth month of storage) when compared to control fillets. After exposure to 40 µL L−1 EO the free fatty acid content was higher than for control at the start of fillet storage, with no differences among groups thereafter.

CONCLUSION: The essential oil of L. alba used as sedative in the water to transport silver catfish can delay lipid oxidation of fillets during frozen storage. Thus L. alba may be a promising source of natural active compounds for use in aquaculture and the food industry. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry