An edible coating of chitosan (CH) containing cumin essential oil (CEO) was used in this study to increase the shelf life of chicken fillets during refrigerated storage (4±1 ˚C). CEO was extracted by Clevenger apparatus, and the chemical compounds of CEO were determined. Four treatments were produced to investigate the shelf life of chicken fillets: T1: Control (C), T2: CH, T3: CH-CEO (0.75%), and T4: CH-CEO (1.5%). The chemical parameters (peroxide value, thiobarbituric acid, and total volatile basic nitrogen), microbial parameters (total bacterial counts, psychrotrophic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria), and sensory attributes (taste, odor, color, texture, and general acceptance) of the chicken fillets were periodically evaluated. Cumin aldehyde (25.79%), gamma-terpinene (21.95%), propanol (18.17%), p-menta-1,4-dien 7-al (11.73%), and beta-pinene (9.27%) were the chemical compounds of CEO. It was shown by the results that the microbial load and chemical oxidation of chicken fillets were inhibited by the active edible coating (p<0.05) and that better preservation effects have resulted from higher essential oil concentration (p<0.05). T4 achieved the best chemical, microbial and sensory results in most tests at the end of the storage period. The shelf life of chicken fillets during storage in the refrigerator was increased by the CH edible coating containing CEO, as demonstrated by this study.
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