Safe production methods and proper disinfection/decontamination procedures are critical steps in ensuring the safety of ready-to-eat fresh fruits. Therefore, there is much interest in developing safer and more effective sanitizers for fruits. Natural antimicrobial compounds are a re-emerging alternative to fresh-cut products preservation. Carvacrol is a natural essential oil which has been characterized as an inhibitor of growth of different pathogens. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of carvacrol treatment on the microbial activities, sensorial attributes and storage quality of fresh-cut 'Braeburn' apples during cold storage. Fruits were harvested at commercial harvest maturity stage from Egirdir/Isparta region in Turkey. Whole unprocessed apples were washed and sanitized by dipping into a 100 mu l/L sodium hypochlorite solution (pH 6.5) at 5 degrees C for 2 min. Fruits were sliced using a hand-operated apple corer and slicer. Apple slices were dipped into a browning inhibitor (4% (w/v)) solution called as NatureSeal (R) for 2 min. Then, fruit slices were dipped for 1 min in solutions containing 0.05 (C2), 0.1 (C3), and 0.2 mM (C4) of carvacrol. Control (C1) slices were dipped in distilled water. After treatments, slices were packaged in plastic boxes and stored at 4 degrees C temperature and 90+/-5% relative humidity for 6 days. Microbial activity, sensorial evaluation (external appearance and flavor) and fruit quality (weight loss, fruit flesh firmness, titratable acidity, soluble solid contents and fruit flesh color) analyses were determined at initial and 3 days intervals during the cold storage.