Summary Project

Table olives

Table olives are probably among the most popular agro-fermented food products of plant origin that are consumed and enjoyed throughout the world, representing an important socioeconomic input for the producing countries (mainly in the Mediterranean basin). Nowadays, worldwide table olive production exceeds 2,400,000 t/year, with Spain as the main contributor. This fermented vegetable is an essential component of the Mediterranenan diet and culture. It provides various elements of high biological value, such as healthy cardio-lipids, vitamins A and E, natural antioxidants, dietary fiber, maslinic acid, etc. Therefore, It can be considered itself as a functional food. But we can endue to this fermented vegetable of a higher added value by demonstrating that microorganisms associated to the epidermis of the fruits during fermentation are beneficial for human health.

In this sense, the main goal of the present project is to provide to the olive industries the necessary scientific knowledge and technology to obtain a final product with multifunctional features, provided not only by the fruit itself, but also by microorganisms selected by both their technological and potentially probiotic/functional characteristics. The present project proposes the isolation, identification and “in situ” observation of the main yeast species and lactic acid bacteria strains able to form biofilms on the epidermis of fruits, which will be all obtained from industrial fermentations of different processing styles of table olives (NaOH treated, directly brined olives, etc.). The main technological, functional and potentially probiotic characteristics of these isolates will be firstly determined “in vitro” tests. For the selection and discrimination of those combinations lactic acid bacteria-yeasts with the best global activities, multivariate analysis techniques will be applied. Subsequently, to validate their technological properties (ability to form biofilms on the olive epidermis and control of fermentative process), diverse combinations of selected microorganisms will be inoculated into real olive fermentations. After olive fermentation, the survival of microorganisms adhered to the olives epidermis throughout the gastrointestinal transit, both “in vitro” and “in vivo” conditions, will be assayed as well as their acceptability by consumers. Their ability to inhibit food-borne pathogens in dynamic gastrointestinal models as well as the exclusion of these undesirable microorganisms of various cell culture lines obtained from human gastrointestinal epithelial cells will also be assessed. Our aim is to supply the necessary basis to turn table olives into a “synbiotic” food.

 Olifilm data of interest

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