Fish are very susceptible to both microbiological and chemical deterioration, due to large amounts of free amino acids, volatile nitrogen bases, highly unsaturated fatty acids and higher final pH Razavi Shirazi (2001). Chemical, enzymatic and microbial activity caused to loss of fish quality during storage ??zogul et al., (2006) and ??zyurt, (2009). Lipid oxidation is one of the major problems encountered in fish processing which have high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Synthetic antioxidants have been widely used as food additives to provide protection against oxidative degradation and to prolong the storage stability of foods. According to some reports, these compounds have possible toxic properties to human health and environment and can exhibit carcinogenic effects in living organisms Stich (1991), Ames (1983) and Baardseth (1989). Many efforts have been done to reduce these activities for supplying fresh fish according to consumers’ demand Hassan (2002). In this situation, using natural additives such as essential oils has been studied on shelf life of different food Burt (2004), to develop natural preservative with high antioxidant and antibacterial effect that could extent the shelf life of fish.
Recently, increasing attention has been focused on the use of natural antioxidants, such as essential oils. Essential oils possess antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and anti-mycotic properties Burt (2004). The antioxidant properties of these plant extracts have been mainly attributed to their polyphenolic compounds, which are plant secondary metabolites, have many positive effects on human health, including their anti-inflammatory activity and anti-carcinogenic properties. Moreover, the activity of these components as food lipid antioxidants is well known Iqbal Bhanger et al., (2008) and Fazel et al., (2008).
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) also called as ”cilantro’ is an annual herbaceous plant originally from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, cultivated for its culinary, aromatic and medicinal use Mildner-Szkudlarz et al., (2009). This plant is of economic importance since it has been used as a flavoring agent in food products, perfumes, cosmetics and drugs. This culinary and medicinal plant widely distributed and mainly cultivated for the seeds which contain an essential oil Neffati et al., (2011). The essential oil and various extracts from coriander have been shown to possess antibacterial, antidiabetic, anticancerous, antimutagenic, antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities Sreelatha et al., (2009) and Zoubiri and Baaliouamer, (2010).
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) is a small annual plant belonging to the Apiaceae family, and is native to the Mediterranean region, where it is cultivated extensively. It is one of the popular spices regularly used as a flavouring agent Thippeswamy and Naidu (2005). Cumin’s distinctive flavour and strong, warm aroma is due to its essential oil content that may be considered as an interesting source of antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant components, which are used as potent agents in food preservation and for therapeutic or nutraceutical industries. Its main constituent and important aroma compound is cuminaldehyde (4-isopropylbenzaldehyde) Hajlaoui et al., (2010).
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a member of Apiaceae family that has been employed in the food, pharmaceutical, perfume, and cosmetic industries Lopez, Sanchez-Mendoza and Ochoa-Alejo (1999). Many investigations point out to the antioxidant properties of parsley. The flavonoid apigenin, one of the components of parsley plant, was shown to express strong antioxidant effects by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes and related to that, decreasing the oxidative damage to tissues. Potential for anticancer activity by parsley was reported as well Nguyen et al., (2004) and Kinoshita et al., (2006).
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of some essential oils in improvement some quality attributes of fish finger freeze stored at -18??C up to 6 months.