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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Dec 10;128(2):189-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.08.018. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

Role of yeasts in table olive production.

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  • 1Institut "Cavanilles" de Biodiversitat i Biología Evolutiva, Universitat de València, Edifici d'Instituts, Parc Científic de Paterna, P.O. Box 22085, E-46071 València, Spain.


Table olives are a traditional fermented vegetable of the Mediterranean countries, but their production and consumption are now spread all around the world. Yeasts can play a double role in this food. They are present throughout the fermentative process and it is generally accepted that they can produce compounds with important organoleptic attributes determining the quality and flavour of the final product. However, yeasts can also be spoilage microorganisms in olive fermentation/storage and packing causing gas pockets, swollen containers, cloudy brines and off-flavours and off-odours. Candida boidinii, Debaryomyces hansenii, Pichia anomala, P. membranifaciens, Rhodotorula glutinis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are species isolated with a high frequency from olive processes. Scarce information is still available about the ecology, biochemistry and molecular biology of these important microorganisms in table olives. A wider knowledge about these aspects could facilitate the possible application of yeasts as a starter culture, due to their ability to produce aromatic compounds, antioxidants, enzymes, and improve the growth of lactic acid bacteria.

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