The aim of the project is to isolate the most appropriate pro-biotic bacteria from the autochthonous olive micro-flora, in order to be used as pure starter cultures for the improvement of the traditional fermentation and for the production of a new functional food. Isolated lactic acid bacteria with pro-biotic properties will be selected for potential tolerance of the naturally antimicrobial compounds, such as polyphenols occurring in olives.
Furthermore, selection of cultures will focus on the production of antimicrobial compounds like bacteriocins which reduce growth of spoilage and pathogenic bacteria. Additional, organoleptic and biochemical properties like production of desired aroma compounds will be studied. At the same time a better control of the fermentation process, early detection of faulty fermentation and spoilage and assessment of the time needed for fermentation completion will be achieved by monitoring the quality indices (e.g. volatiles) throughout the process with the use of advanced and emerging instruments (electronic nose) and tools (mathematical models).
Risk assessment studies will be carried out to ensure the safety of the new product as well as storage experiments will indicate its shelf life stability. Mathematical models will be developed for the prediction of its shelf life as well as consumer acceptance studies will ensure the quality and acceptance of the final product.
Funded under 7th FWP (Seventh Framework Programme)