` Polyphenols Found in Olive Oil Could Be Key Ingredient for Improving Food Safety - Olive Oil Times

Polyphenols Found in Olive Oil Could Be Key Ingredient for Improving Food Safety

Nov. 5, 2020
Julie Al-Zoubi

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Consuming lig­nan-rich olive oil could reverse the effects of some food fun­gal tox­ins, accord­ing to a newly pub­lished study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The over-con­sump­tion of these tox­ins can lead to ner­vous sys­tem symp­toms and motor sys­tem dys­func­tions such as tremors and seizures.

We believe lig­nan-rich olive oil can pro­tect the sci­atic and periph­eral ner­vous sys­tem against the insult caused by potas­sium chan­nels-tar­get­ing fun­gal tox­ins.- Khaled El Sayed, researcher, University of Louisiana – Monroe

The research was car­ried out by a team of sci­en­tists from the University of Louisiana – Monroe, to address con­cerns about the pos­si­bil­ity of food stor­age caus­ing micro­bial growth that is known to pro­duce tox­ins (myco­tox­ins), which can adversely affect the health of humans and livestock.

Mycotoxins (which are pro­duced by the unde­sired growth of fungi) con­t­a­m­i­nate food and can even be toxic to the human ner­vous sys­tem in very small doses. An accu­mu­la­tion of myco­tox­ins over time can result in health hazards.

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These risks could be reduced by the con­sump­tion of phe­no­lic-rich olive oil, which can pro­tect against poten­tial food micro­bial con­t­a­m­i­nants that dam­age the ner­vous system.

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We believe lig­nan-rich olive oil can pro­tect the sci­atic and periph­eral ner­vous sys­tem against the insult caused by potas­sium chan­nels-tar­get­ing fun­gal tox­ins and there­fore can be used to make human and live­stock food addi­tives to pro­vide added pro­tec­tion and increase food safety,” study co-author Khaled El Sayed told Olive Oil Times.

The myco­toxin, Penitrem A, which can con­t­a­m­i­nate both human and ani­mal food, is one of the most com­mon con­t­a­m­i­nants to which humans are vul­ner­a­ble. Penitrem A was con­firmed as a com­mon food con­t­a­m­i­nant after being detected in non-moldy bread sam­ples, which had been stored and refrig­er­ated for three days.

Other myco­tox­ins include lolitrems and ergo­v­a­line which are pro­duced in pas­ture grasses. These are toxic to graz­ing ani­mals and can lead to the live­stock dis­ease Fescue tox­i­co­sis, which costs the global beef indus­try more than a bil­lion dol­lars annually.

The study’s authors believe olive oil could become a food addi­tive ingre­di­ent for improv­ing food safety and increas­ing pro­tec­tion for both humans and livestock.

El Sayed, who has long been an advo­cate of the health ben­e­fits of olive oil, secured fund­ing from the National Cancer Institute ear­lier this year for devel­op­ing oleo­can­thal as a can­cer pre­ven­tion tool.

In 2017, he led a study which con­cluded that a com­pound found in extra vir­gin olive oil was effec­tive in pre­vent­ing can­cer and Alzheimer’s dis­ease in mice.





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