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The Carpathian lingonberry, raspberry and blackberry fruit extracts feature variable antimicrobial efficiency
Published May 23, 2019

Wild berry is an excellent source of phytonutrients and/or bioactive compounds associated with significant therapeutic properties, so that they have been utilized in folk medicine and traditional nutrition throughout centuries. Multiple health-promoting effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-heart and coronary disease propertie...s were attributed to such wild berries. It has also been proved that berries could feature antimicrobial effects that could be of a great importance for the prevention of food-feed poisoning and fighting back antibiotic resistance.

In this study, we investigated the antimicrobial properties of lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) crude and ethanolic extracts prepared from fruits obtained from the spontaneous flora of Eastern Carpathian Mountains situated in Transylvania. The antimicrobial effect of crude and alcoholic extracts were assessed on four Gram-negative, five Gram-positive bacteria and one yeast species using the agar diffusion method. The studied bacteria can cause food or feed spoilage and foodborne diseases. Our results indicate the significant inhibitory effect of lingonberry extracts in the case of Gram-negative bacteria like Proteus vulgaris and Salmonella Hartford, while among Gram-positive bacteria the strongest inhibitory effect was observed for Bacillus species like B. cereus, B. subtilis, B. mojavensis and Micrococcus luteus. The raspberry and blackberry extracts featured milder inhibitory effects in the case of the studied bacteria species. Furthermore, we have studied the crude or ethanolic extract combinations associated antimicrobial effects synergistic/additive or antagonistic properties. Interestingly, the triple and double ethanolic extract mixes had stronger antimicrobial properties, whereas the crude extract mixes showed relatively reduced effects, if any. Our results indicate that the antimicrobial activity of studied fruit extracts obtained from wild berries can vary upon the applied extraction method and their combination formulae, so that all these considerations must be taken into account when such fruit extracts are considered for foodstuff development.

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Essential oil extraction from herbs and their use in the food industry
Published September 5, 2018

Essential oil extraction of wild caraway and thyme was performed using a classical (HD) and microwave hydro-distillation (MWHD) and a laboratory supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) with a carbon dioxide as solvent. Our experiments demonstrated that the extraction yield of the essential oil performed in same conditions was influenced by the loc...ation of growth area; the maximum extraction yield of 10 ml 100 g-1 caraway was obtained from dried seeds collected from Csíkmadaras. This quantity far exceeded the yield of the Újtusnád samples. In the case of wild caraway (Carum carvi L.), the extraction method influenced thecomposition of the essential oil (carvone/limonene ratio), the highest limonene content being achieved by classical hydro-distillation. In the case of thyme, this effect was not detected, the thymol/carvacrol ratio was independent from the given extraction method. The obtained thyme essential oil possesses high antimicrobial activity demonstrated by agar diffusion test. The thyme extract provides a good protection against microorganisms collected on the surface of fresh vegetables following bacterial stains: Citrobacter portucalensis, Pseudomonas hunanensis, Pseudomonas baetica, Pseudomonas parafulva, Bacillus mojavensis and Enterobacter cloacae. Protective effect was also detected on the vegetable surface of by chitosan-based edible film coating during a 6-day-long storage period at a temperature of 4 °C. The caraway essential oil used as soft cheese seasoning with a direct, dilution-free method, proved to be unsuitable because the uneven distribution and confer a strong, unpleasant taste to the product in comparison with the ground wild caraway seed-dressed cheese.

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The effect of herbs on the microbiological stability and nutritional quality of pariser
Published May 20, 2020

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the functional properties of dried herbs (Thymus vulgaris L., Origanum vulgare L., Salvia officinalis L.) to improve the quality characteristics and microbiological stability of Hungarian meat product, pariser. The addition of herbs did not affect the microbial properties of the product. According t...o the Decree No. 4 of 1998 of the Ministry of Health, pariser can be considered safe. The nutritional quality of the different forms of pariser was also acceptable. However, the addition of oregano, sage and thyme changed the flavor characteristics of the parisers and the higher meat content would increase the final price of the product.


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Microbial assessment of potential functional dairy products with added dried herbs
Published May 20, 2020

The market of dairy products is a dynamically developing sector of the food industry. Potential, functional dairy products, made by adding herbs or spices, will have antimicrobial and antioxidant effect due to the active biochemical agents of the plant additives. Furthermore, these active components will widen the storage life of food produ...cts and enhance their organoleptic properties too. We worked out a technology for creating fresh cheeses using a gentle pasteurizing method by treating the mixture of raw milk and 1.5% fat contained in commercial milk. As herb additives, we used citronella (Melissa officinalis), and peppermint (Mentha x piperita) harvested by us and dried them via Tyndall-method in convective dryer on 40 °C for 5.5 hours per day. The drying period took three days. We bought dried citronella and mint from the supermarket, which were dried by ionizing radiation, to compare the microbiological pollution with the herbs dried by us.

The main target of this research was to create a microbiologically stable, potential functional dairy product. However, because of the bad quality of the raw milk and the gentle heat treatment we used for sterilizing bulk milk, or else, cheeses were not safe for human consumption. As a consequence, we need further studies to modify our technology and get a microbiologically stable product.

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