August 02, 2005
Food Production Daily reports that a new bread containing an antioxidant found in olives has been launched in Spain. The bread contains concentrated hydroxytyrosol, one of the main antioxidants found in olives. The product is touted as an anti-ageing and heart healthy food.
Hydroxytyrosol is a valuable but troublesome byproduct of olive oil milling. Unfortunately, it and most of the other antioxidants in olives end up in the olive water, not the oil. They prevent oxidation but also kill bacteria in any kind of attempt to ferment or biologically treat the waste. Many city waste treatment plants refuse to accept olive waste for this reason, creating problems for olive mill operators.
There has been interest for years in finding a way to profitably extract the polyphenol antioxidants, making the disposal of the olive waste easier and creating a valuable food additive at the same time.
Genosa R&D is the supplier of the ingredient in Spain with the trade name of Hytolive 2. They have patented a process for extracting the hydroxytyrosol from waste from olive mills.
Puraots, a supplier of bakery ingredients, is distributing the product and has added it to their Nostrum brand bread which is already on the market in Spain.
In the United States, Dr. Roberto Crea at Supremo has been working on similar technology. His company, CreAgri, has marketed the antioxidants and other byproducts removed from olive waste to the cosmetic, nutritional and pharmaceutical industry. Their dietary supplement containing hydroxytyrosol called Olivenol has been available for some years now. Dr. Crea claims that it contains the natural olive polyphenol with the highest level of free radical protection activity ever reported for any natural antioxidant compound.
Similar products have appeared on the market from other vendors. They often claim to prevent atherosclerosis, cancer , solar skin damage and damage to the body from smoking. Their ability to kill bacteria in a test tube has been used as a claim that they are antibacterial when consumed, something which has not been conclusively proved in rigorous scientific studies.
Polyphenol antioxidants are suspected to be one of the important components of the "Mediterranean diet" which is rich in fruits, vegetables and olive oil. Hopefully this and similar technology will prove to be a health boon and solve an environmental waste disposal problem at the same time.