Olive & Oil 01/07/2013

The extra virgin olive oil is a natural product good for health

Used as a medicine by the ancient Egyptians, it is necessary to reveal the health potential and enhance it. Step by step, maybe while making interesting discoveries. Few people know that the oil there is a huge amount of micro-organisms

The extra virgin olive oil is good for health.

There are not a lot of fat that can boast important nutraceutical properties, including anticancer.

The extra virgin olive oil is a functional food but also a cosmetic. The ancient Roman matrons knew and spent fortunes for viridum, or green oil from unripe olives, very precious and expensive, suitable for skin care.

It would therefore be a mistake to consider that the knowledge about the health properties of the oil as an acquisition modern. Of course at the time of Galen, who advised for the pain of the abdomen, or of Hippocrates, who suggested against ulcers, there was no talk of oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, oleocantale, squalene, but the characteristics of the oil were still unknown. Some at least. Many have become the only recently and are connected both to the unsaponifiable fraction, the non-fat (2% of the total), as the equilibrium in fatty acids, especially unsaturated.

There is, however, focusing as much on the individual molecules to risk losing sight of the product as a whole and its properties should be valued, in the field and in the mill, and then offer the consumer a truly extra virgin salutariness and high added value .

From these premises, started the project Oleosalusistem which saw the farm as leader Cesare Buonamici, which had as indispensable partners the University of Florence, Metropolis Chamber of Commerce of Florence, Toscana enologica Mori and the Association of tasters Anapoo.

A comprehensive research and complex, involving various personalities professional and technical-scientific, to establish a framework in which technical and technological move to get a health oil which today is part of the product portfolio Buonamici.

Few people know that in a gram of extra virgin you are from a few hundred to a few thousands of microorganisms, then bacteria, yeasts and molds.

As you go through the conservation of these microorganisms are reduced because precipitate to the bottom of the bottle. But where did they come from? Perform some function? Have an impact on the aromatic components of an oil?

These questions were answered one of the research that is part of the project coordinated by Prof. Massimo Vincenzini, University of Florence.

The lack of bibliography on the subject is assumed, almost with certainty, that the micro-organisms that we find in the oil originates from the fruit, or by the microflora and microfauna present on the olives. In fact, for variety and composition of microorganisms that can be found in the oil are numerous. But, this is the most interesting discovery of Vincenzini, not only from the fruits but also by a process of selective enrichment which is realized during the extraction and in particular the steps of gramulatura and centrifugation. A phenomenon observed especially for yeasts, whose presence in the pulp at the moment of their entrance into the kneading machine is lower than that detected by the brakes and then exit from the decanter. Not just a question of numbers but also of species present, which suggests that the activities of crusher, day after day, with subsequent selective enrichment of some yeasts at the expense of others.

In the case company Buonamici to be significantly present in the oil product is Candida tenuis, a yeast that has various enzymatic activities: esterase, lipase and beta-glucosidase. That enzymatic activity which could not be indifferent to the production of aromatic compounds in the oil. In fact, statistical studies have demonstrated the existence of correlations between the amount of yeast in the phases of the process in which it realizes the selective enrichment and concentration of well 39 aromatic molecules on the 72 examined.

In conclusion Prof. Vincenzini hypothesized that each crusher selections own microbiota potentially able to confer aromatic notes typical defects or to the finished product. Therefore the production of quality oils should not matter to know and especially by controlling the microbiota present in the mill

di Alberto Grimelli