Zein based edible film was developed and incorporated with Zataria multiflora boiss essential oil. Mechanical and microbiological characteristics of this biofilms were measured. Increasing concentration of antimicrobial agent in film reduced stretchability, tensile strength and elongation, however increased the thickness and water vapor transmission parameters (P<0.05). Addition of Z. multiflora boiss essential oil, resulted in decreasing the count of viable Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in the produced cheese. This investigation concludes that the biofilm containing Z. multiflora boiss essential oil can be highly recommended for packaging of Feta cheese with the improved microbiological and sensory quality. Besides, application of natural plant essential oil has economical and health promoting benefits.
Key words: Zein, Zataria multiflora, cheese, pathogens, mechanical properties.
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