Background: Essential oils of medicinal plants such as chamomile are very complex
natural mixtures which can contain compounds at quite different concentrations
and some of their components have antioxidant and antimicrobial activities in
The antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of chamomile essential oil in cake
preparation were evaluated during 75 days of storage.
Cake were produced: cakes were treated with chamomile essential oil in three
levels (0.05%, 0.1%, 0.15%), cakes were not treated with synthetic and natural
antioxidant and antimicrobial agents, and a commercial cake containing
synthetic antioxidant (tert butyl hydro quinine= TBHQ) and
antimicrobial (potassium sorbate) agents. In all samples peroxide value,
thiobarbitoric value, acidity, microbial test (yeast and mould) and
sensory test (color, flavor, texture, taste and overall quality) were
determined at time intervals 1, 7, 15, 30, 40, 60 and 75 days.
Results: Statistical results showed
that, the sample containing chamomile at 0.15%,
had good antioxidant and antimicrobial activity in comparison with the control
samples (without any synthetic and natural antioxidant and antimicrobial
agents) (p<0.01). But its activity was less than that of synthetic ones
(TBHQ and potassium sorbate as antioxidant and antimicrobial agent) (p<0.01).
In sensory evaluation, the sample containing chamomile at 0.05% had higher
score in flavor, taste and overall acceptability than the samples at 0.15 and 0.1%
(p<0.05). Conclusion: Chamomile essential oil as a natural antioxidant and
antimicrobial agent can increase shelf-life of food products and due to absence
of synthetic agents are safe with no side effect on human health.