Bacteria and yeast are live organisms called probiotics. They are added to yogurt and other dairy products to enhance health. Lately they have been added to table olives.
In the International Journal of Food Microbiology, a new research was published about the presence of probiotics in olives. Probiotics are the necessary bacteria for stomach health and a functioning digestive system. They are very important for the digestive system, especially when the use of antibiotics destroy its natural bacteria.
Probiotics are administered orally and in large quantities daily, to have the beneficial effects needed. In the human digestive environment, different probiotics react differently. Introducing certain types of bacteria that can survive the rough chemical conditions of the gastrointestinal track, is very important.
A new research conducted in Spain, the Consejo Superior de Investigationes Cientificas (CSIC), suggests that probiotics are present in olives from the fermentation process and not only in dairy products such yogurts.
Electron microscopy techniques, show that during the fermentation process, the bio-film that stays on the surface of the olive fruit, due to the high concentration and availability of amino acids, sugars and other vitamins and nutrients, offer the ideal environmental conditions for the growth of these bacteria.
Preserving the olives by fermentation, is thousands of years old method globally. Lactobacilli and yeasts are important in the process. The Gordal olive variety has about 100 billion Lactobacilli living on its surface and when the olives are consumed, these organisms are ingested in our bodies. The CSIC now investigates the beneficial effects of these bacteria in the gastrointestinal health.
The high content of fiber and antioxidants in olives, and the delivery of probiotics in the body through olives, can earn this food the classification of functional food.
Another research done on Portuguese table olives, indicates that during the fermentation process, some of the bacteria can prevent the growth of Helicobacter Pylori, a human pathogen, resistant to antibiotics.
The use of olives as a source of probiotics is going to be the answer to people who are intolerant to dairy products.