The objective was to evaluate the stability of sensory and chemical parameters in roasted sunflower seeds supplemented with oregano and poleo essential oils; and the consumer acceptability of this product. Four samples were prepared: plain roasted sunflower seeds (Control = RS-C), and sunflower seeds added with oregano (RS-O) or poleo (RS-P) essential oils or BHT (RS-BHT). Consumer acceptance was determined on fresh samples. The overall acceptance averages were 6.13 for RS-C, 5.62 for RS-P, and 5.50 for RS-O (9-point hedonic scale). The addition of BHT showed greater protection against the oxidation process in the roasted sunflower seeds. Oregano essential oil exhibited a greater antioxidant effect during storage than poleo essential oil. Both essential oils (oregano and poleo) provided protection to the product, inhibiting the formation of undesirable flavors (oxidized and cardboard). The antioxidant activity that presents essential oils of oregano and poleo could be used to preserve roasted sunflower seeds.
The addition of natural additives instead of synthetic ones covers the present trend in food technology. The food product shelf-life could be prolonged by the addition of natural preservatives as essential oils. This research showed that the addition of oregano and poleo essential oils preserved the intensity ratings of positive sensory attributes and quality parameter in roasted sunflower seeds during storage. The addition of these essential oils should be considered for the food industry as a natural source of antioxidant additives for preserving quality properties in this food product and, also, in food with high fat content.