The importance of food-borne disease and consumer demands for avoiding synthetic food preservatives shifted the research interest to natural food preservatives such as essential oils which have antimicrobial activity. Also, spoilage of foods by fungi is a major problem, especially in developing countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of Achillea millefolium essential oil as natural food preservative in high fat and low fat mayonnaise kept at 4°C for 6 months. Mayonnaise samples were divided into four experimental treatments, namely: EO (essential oil in concentrations of 0.45-7.2 mg/ml), BS (sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate in concentration of 0.75 mg/ml), Cmo (control: no preservative with added microorganisms) and C (control: no preservative and no added microorganisms). The results showed that of essential oil of Achillea millefolium had influence against all of the tested microorganisms in mayonnaise and all of the pathogens and fungi did not grow in mayonnaise, whereas in the control samples all of the microorganisms grew. The maximum cell counts of bacteria and fungus in low fat mayonnaise were approximately lower than the high fat mayonnaise or resistance to inactivation of microorganisms appeared to be greater in high fat mayonnaise than in low fat mayonnaise (p< 0.05). Also, BS samples exhibited antimicrobial properties against tested species during storage. In conclusion the essential oil of Achillea millefolium would lead to control food pathogenic organisms and food spoilage organisms and therefore, it can be used as natural preservative in food industry such as mayonnaise.
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