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Journal of Food Quality
Volume 2018, Article ID 8424035, 10 pages
Research Article

Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Satureja hortensis L. in Fresh Cow Cheese

1Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timişoara, Calea Aradului, No. 119, 300645 Timişoara, Romania
2“Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Eftimie Murgu Square, No. 2, 300041 Timişoara, Romania

Correspondence should be addressed to Corina Danciu; or.tfmu@uicnad.aniroc

Received 9 September 2017; Revised 27 January 2018; Accepted 20 February 2018; Published 10 September 2018

Academic Editor: Ángel A. Carbonell-Barrachina

Copyright © 2018 Ersilia Alexa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study presents data about the chemical composition and antimicrobial effect of Satureja hortensis L. used as both dry plant and essential oil, on fresh cow’s cheese, in order to extend its shelf-life. The proximate and elemental composition of dry plant of Satureja hortensis L. highlights important level of microelements. The content of microelements increases even when small amounts of Satureja hortensis in fresh cheese were added. The addition of Satureja hortensis dry plant leads to an increase in Fe (13.46–65.54%) and Mn (8.33–88.33%) content of fresh cheese, depending on the amount of plant added. The composition of essential oil isolated from Satureja hortensis L. was analyzed by GC-MS and the main compounds found were carvacrol (19.68%), o-cymene (30.86%), and p-cymene (28.07%). In order to use Satureja hortensis L. as natural preservative in food industry, in vitro effect of plant extract and essential oil against Staphylococcus aureus Gram-positive bacteria was tested. The oil of Satureja hortensis L. showed antimicrobial activity at 0.50–1.5%, while the alcoholic extract does not inhibit Staphylococcus aureus mycelial growth. The antimicrobial effect of Satureja hortensis L. dry plant in various proportions (0.5–1.5%) and essential oil (0.1%; 0.25%; 0.5%), on fresh cow’s cheese, was assessed after 3 and 7 days by counting colonies obtained at 30°C. Results have shown that the addition of Satureja hortensis L. dry plant and essential oil led to a reduction in the total number of germs, this reduction being more significant when the essential oil was used. Regarding the effect of Satureja hortensis L. essential oil against Staphylococcus aureus inoculated in fresh cow’s cheese, the results highlight that the essential oil of Satureja hortensis L. may be a natural solution to prevent the development of this bacteria, while the ethanol extract does not prove to be effective.