The main objective of this research was to to prolong the shelf life of beef meatball by using chitosan with the addition of garlic extract. Two methods of application, i.e. as preservative agent by mixing chitosan with meatball ingredients and as coating of meatball have been conducted. Prior to application, antimicrobial activities of chitosan and chitosan enriched with garlic extract were assessed by diffusion agar methods. It showed that chitosan solution of 1% (w/v) enriched with garlic extract 2% (v/v) could inhibit Pseudomonas aureginosa and Bacillus cereus.The application of chitosan enriched with garlic extract as preservative agent could extend the shelf-life of meatball only for 12 hours while its application as edible coating could extend the shelf life of beef meatball until 24 hours when stored at room temperature. This result revealed that the application of chitosan with garlic extract as edible coating were more effective in controlling microbiological growth in meatball than as preservative agent. The micrograph obtained by SEM showed that the surfaces of meatball coated with chitosan were more smooth and compact than those of meatball without coatings.
Keywords: chitosan, antimicrobial film, preservative, meatball, edible coating