BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to find natural spice and herb extracts with antibacterial and antioxidant capacities that could be potentially used as natural preservatives in raw pork. RESULTS: The inhibitory effects of cinnamon stick, oregano, clove, pomegranate peel and grape seed extracts on Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica were evaluated in raw pork at room temperature (~20°C). The influences of these extracts on lipid oxidation in the meat were also investigated. The pH, colour parameters and TBARS (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances) values were tested periodically. The results showed that all five natural extracts, especially clove, were effective against the bacteria. During storage the colour parameters of the extract-treated pork samples changed slightly, in comparison with significant changes in the control. Treatments with these extracts increased the stability of raw pork against lipid oxidation. Clove was the most effective for retarding lipid oxidation and presented the highest antioxidant activity in raw pork. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the tested extracts, especially clove, have potential as natural preservatives to reduce numbers of pathogenic bacteria, colour degradation and lipid oxidation in raw pork.
- Raw pork