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This study aimed at evaluating the effect of Oregano vulgaris extract supplementation of heavy pig diet on the microbiological, chemical-physical and sensory characteristics of Fabriano salami. Fabriano salamis were produced processing meat derived from pigs belonging to two dietary groups of 16 pigs each: CTRL group fed a commercial pelleted feed, and OR group fed the CTRL diet integrated with 0.2% of oregano extract. Ten salamis per group were collected at 0, 7, 20 and 45 days of ripening and analysed for total viable count, enumeration of Enterobacteriaceae, Enterococcus spp, coagulase negative and positive staphylococci, Lactobacillus spp., Lactococcus spp., presence of Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogens, pH, water activity (aw) and colour (CIE L*a*b* colour system). At the end of the ripening (day 45) chemical composition (AOAC, 1990), total antioxidant capacity (ORACFL), thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS), total phenolic content (TPC) (Folin-Ciocalteu method) and consumer tests were performed. The integration of oregano extract in pig diets did not interfere with the microbial evolution, chemical composition, pH and aw. After 20 days of ripening the OR salami were redder then CTRL samples, which were also yellower at the end of ripening. Furthermore, the diet has significantly improved the oxidative status, the polyphenolic content and antioxidant power in OR salami. The consumers gave a higher score to OR salami in informed condition.
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