In this research work, we introduce a novel approach for phase estimation from noisy reconstructed interference fields in digital holographic interferometry using an unscented Kalman filter. Unlike conventionally used unwrapping algorithms and piecewise polynomial approximation approaches, this paper proposes, for the first time to the best of our knowledge, a signal tracking approach for phase estimation. The state space model derived in this approach is inspired from the Taylor series expansion of the phase function as the process model, and polar to Cartesian conversion as the measurement model. We have characterized our approach bysimulations and validated the performance on experimental data (holograms) recorded under various practical conditions. Our study reveals that the proposed approach, when compared with various phase estimation methods available in the literature, outperforms at lower SNR values (i.e., especially in the range 0-20 dB). It is demonstrated with experimental data as well that the proposed approach is a better choice for estimating rapidly varying phase with high dynamic range and noise. © 2014 Optical Society of America.