Microbial Characterization of Table Olives Processed According to Spanish and Natural Styles

Daniela Campaniello, Antonio Bevilacqua, Daniela D’Amato, Maria Rosaria Corbo, Clelia Altieri and Milena Sinigaglia*

Department of Food Science, University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, I-71100 Foggia, Italy

Article history:

Received August 30, 2004
Accepted July 28, 2005

Key words:

Bella di Cerignola, table olives, Spanish style and natural processing, microorganisms


A study on the microflora of table olives »Bella di Cerignola«, produced according to Spanish style and natural processing, is presented. The samples (olives and brines) were taken at different fermentation phases; olives, before treatments, were analyzed too. pH was monitored and microbial populations were assessed by standard plate count. Determination of the following microbial groups was carried out: mesophilic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, staphylococci, Micrococcaceae and yeasts. In the second phase, the identification of mesophilic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts was performed. The amount of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts increased during the storage in all the samples, but no significant differences were observed between the two styles. At the end of fermentation an increase of Pseudomonadaceae cell load was observed, which was absent in the first phase of fermentation. The samples analyzed were extremely unsteady, therefore the addition of starter lactic acid bacteria could standardize olive processing. Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus spp. (mainly B. subtilis) and Candida spp. were the predominant species at the end of the processing.

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