Table olives are fermented vegetables very popular in the world and especially in the Mediterranean countries. Five main styles (Spanish or Sevillian, Castelvetrano, Siciliano, Californian, and Greek) are diffused to produce commercial products, beside several traditional styles. Although the main preparation methods of table olives are known for a long time, they are not yet optimized systems, and each of them is characterized by advantages and disadvantages. The use of NaOH for green olive debittering is responsible for the elimination of many aroma compounds and nutritionally important molecules. High volumes of heavily contaminated wastewaters are produced during olive processing. Spontaneous fermentation processes used to ferment black or green olives are difficult either to monitor or control. Microbial starters, selected for specific bio/technological and safety traits, can be useful to (i) improve the table olives organoleptic characteristics, (ii) control the fermentation process and significantly reduce the time to obtain a final product, (iii) monitor the correct evolution of the process, (iv) ensure the maintenance and/or improvement of nutritional and healthy features of the product, (v) protect table olives from undesired spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms, (vi) produce table olives as a carrier of microorganisms with probiotics characters, and (vii) enhance product stability and shelf life.
Part of the book: Products from Olive Tree