Waste Not: Novel Application of Olive Mill Waste as Food Antioxidant

Researchers found that the discoloration and oxidation of meat patties were significantly delayed when they were treated with olive waste extract.

Aug. 10, 2016
By Negar Jamshidi

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The dis­posal of high wastage pro­duced from the extrac­tion of olive oil con­tin­ues to be a con­sid­er­able envi­ron­men­tal prob­lem for the Mediterranean coun­tries that gen­er­ate the major­ity of the global olive oil. As the great­est pro­ducer of olive oil in the world, Spain pro­duces more than 4 mil­lion tons of olive waste each year demand­ing a more viable approach for large scale man­age­ment of these wastes that exac­er­bate their destruc­tive impact on the envi­ron­ment and econ­omy.

At the same time, these waste prod­ucts con­tain high lev­els of polyphe­nols and other poten­tially renew­able resources for recy­cling that would be ben­e­fi­cial to the long-term well­be­ing of the envi­ron­ment.
See Also:Articles on Sustainable Olive Oil Production
While recent research stud­ies have pro­posed mul­ti­ple strate­gies for the prac­ti­cal val­oriza­tion of the olive oil waste such as com­bus­tion, sec­ondary oil extrac­tion and fer­men­ta­tion of the solid waste, nev­er­the­less strate­gies aimed at con­sol­i­da­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ers involved includ­ing agri­cul­tural, social and olive mill indus­tries would be essen­tial to sub­stan­tially reduce the envi­ron­men­tal impact.

Collaborative efforts of mul­ti­ple Spanish groups of researchers pro­duced just that. Scientists came up with a novel strat­egy to uti­lize olive oil waste that would prove to be envi­ron­men­tally friendly while at the same time directed at reduc­ing adverse eco­nomic impacts across mul­ti­ple indus­tries.

The researchers exam­ined the sta­bil­ity of lamb meat pat­ties in the pres­ence of olive waste extract as a nat­ural antiox­i­dant in a stan­dard high-oxy­gen cold stor­age envi­ron­ment for nine days. The results were quite impres­sive: After six days of stor­age the dis­col­oration, lipid and pro­tein oxi­da­tion of the meat pat­ties were all delayed sig­nif­i­cantly com­pared to the con­trols.

If this strat­egy is opti­mized and then imple­mented on a large scale, the clear win­ner here will be the envi­ron­ment. In addi­tion, the dual ben­e­fits of solv­ing the olive oil wastage man­age­ment will impact at least two major indus­tries. On the one hand, the meat indus­try can poten­tially increase the shelf-life of meat prod­ucts by reduc­ing oxi­da­tion result­ing in less food waste and its con­se­quent harm­ful envi­ron­men­tal effects.

On the other hand, as the authors sug­gested, the olive oil indus­try would be encour­aged to fol­low an eco-friend­lier olive oil pro­duc­tion chain obtain­ing mar­ketable prod­ucts from the wastes gen­er­ated.” The authors fur­ther stated that This strat­egy would val­orise olive oil wastes, leav­ing a remark­able by-prod­uct rather than just a waste, and at the same time min­imis­ing envi­ron­men­tal impact.”


In addi­tion to decreas­ing the olive oil wastage, the over­all reduc­tion of waste gen­er­a­tion would also ben­e­fit Spain con­sid­er­ably which in 2012 pro­duced an aston­ish­ing 8.3 mil­lion tons of ani­mal and veg­etable waste.

With the global increase in meat con­sump­tion pre­dicted to jump by 1.3 per­cent annu­ally over the next sev­eral years, the impli­ca­tions of these find­ings are timely for meat indus­tries to recu­per­ate their lost rev­enues as a con­se­quence of unac­cept­able meat dis­col­oration and oxi­da­tion induced by short shelf-life.

Finally, the authors sum­ma­rized the impor­tance of their find­ings as the use of an olive waste extract to increase the shelf life of meat prod­ucts as a food waste pre­ven­tion strat­egy that is con­sid­ered the most favourable option within the food waste hier­ar­chy and, at the same time, would val­orize agri­cul­tural wastes.”


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