The purpose of our study is to verify the usefulness of gamma irradiation treatment at low doses (0.25, 0.5 and 1 kGy) combined to vacuum packaging on commercial teas of Thymus satureioides deliberately contaminated with Escherichia coli. The efficiency and the influence of the process on contamination level and the shelf life of the product were studied. The phenolic composition and concentration were identified in the unirradiated and irradiated thyme. The total phenolic content (TPC) was assayed by the Folin-Ciocalteu method, the individual phenolic compounds were determined by high liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the essential oil was characterized by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The plant was observed by scanning electrons microscopy and the radioactivity effect was analyzed. The results show a complete decontamination of thyme depending to the dose and the storage time. Privileged hygienic quality was found in the irradiated thyme with the highest concentrations of polyphenols. The process showed the conservation of thyme quality without any alteration of its characteristics or radioactivity effect.
Part of the book: Alternative Medicine