This study examined the effects of thyme oil on chemical properties, microbiological changes, and sensory quality in vacuum-packed liquid-smoked rainbow trout fillets under chilled storage. After 150 days of storage, the total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N) values were 30.52, 27.5 and 39.43 mg/100 g, and total viable counts (TVC) were 5.34, 4.96 and 5.53, for thyme oil additions of 10 (T10), 50 (T50) and 0 (control; T0) mL/L brine, respectively. The highest acceptable TVB-N value was adopted as 30 mg /100 g, corresponding to shelf lives of 135, 150, and 105 days for T10, T50, and T0, respectively. T50 addition of thyme oil to liquid-smoked rainbow fillets extended shelf life T10 and T50, gave acceptable sensory quality and limited microbiological growth during chilled storage.
> Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) is an aromatic plant. > Thyme oil use provided a long shelf life for liquid-smoked rainbow trout. > Thyme oil can be viewed as a natural preservative for liquid-smoked rainbow trout.