Changes in the Prefermentation Static Washing Regime of Kalamata Olives Affect the Fermentation Profile

Garry Menz, Mark Bradbury and Frank Vriesekoop*

Institute for Food and Crop Science, School of Science and Engineering, University of Ballarat, PO Box 663, Ballarat, AU-3353 Victoria, Australia

Article history:

Received August 28, 2006
Accepted January 31, 2007

Key words:

Kalamata olives, static washings, naturally black olives, table olives, yeast, lactic acid bacteria


Traditional methods of naturally black olive production employ a series of static washings prior to fermentation. This work investigates the static washings and the effects they have on the subsequent spontaneous fermentation of Kalamata olives. Significant quantities of organic carbonaceous material, including phenolic compounds, were removed during the static washings. The rate of removal peaked after four static washings, and then declined. Bacteria (including lactic acid bacteria) and yeast were found to be present in high numbers throughout the static washings. An increase in the number of static washings resulted in the removal of inhibitory phenolic compounds. This led to a reduction in the lag phase and an increase in the specific growth rate for both the yeast and lactic acid bacteria during the subsequent spontaneous fermentations. However, an increased incidence of spoilage moulds was observed in the fermentations when the olives underwent thirteen static washings.


*Corresponding author: 
                                               ++61 3 53 279 247
                                               ++61 3 53 279 240

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