Published in Applied Research
Natural emulsifiers from olive oil waste product

Spanish Researchers have developed a saving way to make high quality, natural emulsifiers and other valuable additives using the waste product from olive oil production.

The aim of this work, published in the journal Bioresource Technology, was to demonstrate the effectiveness of hydrolysis pretreatment of olive mill (OMW) waste before use as a carbon source in biosurfactant production by fermentation. Three hydrolysis methods were assessed: enzymatic hydrolysis, acid pretreatment plus enzymatic hydrolysis, and acid hydrolysis. Fermentation was carried out using two bacterial species: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus subtilis.

The results showed that the enzymatic hydrolysis was the best pretreatment, yielding up to 29.5 and 13.7 mg/L of rhamnolipids and surfactins respectively. Glucose did not show significant differences in comparison to enzymatically hydrolysed OMW. At the best conditions found rhamnolipids and surfactins reached concentrations of 299 and 26.5 mg/L; values considerably higher than those obtained with non-hydrolysed OMW. In addition, enzymatic pretreatment seemed to partially reduce the inhibitory effects of OMW on surfactin production. Therefore, enzymatic hydrolysis proved to effectively increase the productivity of these biosurfactants using OMW as the sole carbon source.

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