The purpose of the present study was to evaluate carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) coated polypropylene (PP) films containing Zataria multiflora (ZEO) essential oils (4%) as an antimicrobial packaging for chicken breast stored at 4 °C. To increase PP film hydrophilicity, it was treated by atmospheric cold plasma prior to coating by CMC. Then, different films including PP, PP/CMC, PP/CMC containing 4% of ZEO were used for the chicken meat packaging in vapor phase. Total viable count and pseudomonads population and oxidative (TBA) changes of the chicken breast were analyzed during shelf life. Results showed that the shelf life of chicken meat kept in films containing ZEO improved from three to nine days compared to the control sample without any direct contact with the film. Study of oxygen barrier properties of bilayer film without essential oils (0.096 cm3 μm/m2 d kPa) in comparison with PP film (416 cm3 μm/m2 d kPa) shows that coating of PP with CMC significantly reduces oxygen permeation of the obtained packaging (P<0.05), which reduced aerobic bacteria growth. Chemical composition of ZEO was also evaluated by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and this shows that thymol was the main antimicrobial and antioxidant component of the essential oil. The results revealed that PP/CMC containing ZEO has good potential for application as active food packaging in indirect contact which would also improve sensory properties of product.
Meat Tenderness is one of the most important factors affecting consumers' assessment of meat quality. Variation in meat tenderness is genetically controlled and varies among breeds, and it is also influenced by environmental factors that can affect its creation during rigor mortis and postmortem. The final postmortem meat tenderization relies on the extent of proteolysis of myofibrillar proteins caused by the endogenous activity of the proteolytic calpain system. This calpain system includes different calcium-dependent cysteine proteases, and an inhibitor, calpastatin. It is widely accepted that in farm animals including chickens, the μ-calpain gene (CAPN1) is a physiological candidate gene for meat tenderness. This study aimed to identify the association of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in the CAPN1 gene with the tenderness of chicken breast meat from two Malaysian native and commercial broiler breed crosses. Ten, five months old native chickens and ten, 42 days commercial broilers were collected from the local market and breast muscles were removed two hours after slaughter, packed separately in plastic bags and kept at -20ºC for 24 h. The tenderness phenotype for all chickens’ breast meats was determined by Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF). Thawing and cooking losses were also measured in the same breast samples before using in WBSF determination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify the previously reported C7198A and G9950A SNPs in the CAPN1 gene and assess their associations with meat tenderness in the two breeds. The broiler breast meat showed lower shear force values and lower thawing loss rates than the native chickens (p<0.05), whereas there were similar in the rates of cooking loss. The study confirms some previous results that the markers CAPN1 C7198A and G9950A were not significantly associated with the variation in meat tenderness in chickens. Therefore, further study is needed to confirm the functional molecular mechanism of these SNPs and evaluate their associations in different chicken populations.