Traditional packaging concepts are reaching their limits in enhancing food safety, quality and shelf life. Active, antimicrobial sachets containing different concentrations of oregano essential oil (OEO) were developed, and their antimicrobial efficiency was evaluated on agar medium – against Escherichia coli, Salmonella Enteritidis and Penicillium sp. – and on sliced bread – against yeasts and molds. Residual OEO on treated bread was quantified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Bread slices were also evaluated as to texture and sensory properties. Sachets containing OEO showed in vitro antimicrobial effect against the tested microorganisms, as well as reduced the growth rates of yeasts and molds on sliced bread. Compared with untreated samples, γ-terpinene and ρ-cymene contents on treated bread increased throughout storage, whereas their acceptance was reduced. Our findings indicate the potential application of antimicrobial sachets as an antimicrobial packaging system for sliced bread preservation.
Sliced bread is an important bakery product that is widely consumed as snack or meal. The shelf life of bakery products stored within natural atmosphere at room temperature is limited. Sachets added with oregano essential oil can be used to extend the shelf life and improve the sensory characteristics of foods, as well as in the development of new products. Directly from processing lines, one may obtain products with different flavors and extended shelf life provided by sachets included in the packaging stage. This is useful for food industries to avoid product recalls and to develop novel products, as there is an increasing understanding that innovations are essential for competitiveness.