Effect of essential oils of thyme, oregano and their combination on quality of quail meat in comparison with virginiamycin

Document Type : Research Paper


1 - Msc student of Animal Science, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids, poultry meat is prone to oxidative deterioration. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of essential oils of thyme, oregano and their combination in comparison with virginiamycin on quality of quail’s meat. The dietary treatments consisted of the basal control (without any added compounds or with 100 mg/kg of virginiamycin), 100 and 200 mg/kg of thyme and oregano essential oils, as well as an equal mixture of thyme and oregano essential oil (levels of 50 and 100 mg /kg).  At the end of 35 days of the experiment, two birds from each group were slaughtered for testing the meat quality (including malondialdehyde, pH, water holding capacity, dripping loss and cooking loss). Results showed that essential oils of thyme, oregano and their mixture reduced the thiobarbituric acid value, dripping loss and cooking loss; on the other hand pH value and water holding capacity was increased. Oregano and thyme essential oils contain compounds with high antioxidant properties. Therefore, the presence of these compounds in the bloodstream and their accumulation in the muscle tissue could results in an increase in the antioxidant capacity and consequently enhance the keeping quality of meat. It seems that the application of natural antioxidants such as thymol or carvacrol could be helpful to improve the quality of poultry meat.


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