Recovering from a food crisis is difficult. The olive-pomace oil, extracted with the processing of the remains of the first grinding of the olive, has dragged condemnation for years for the finding, in 2001, of concentrations of benzopyrene generated in the old manufacturing process. Despite overcoming the incident, this oil still struggles to regain its place as food. Various investigations have paved the way for the restoration of lost prestige by finding beneficial properties in this fat against inflammation, diabetes, cholesterol and obesity, as well as for related pathologies, including Alzheimer’s.
Javier Sánchez Perona, Food and Health researcher at the Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), details that scientific studies on pomace have been driven again in the last two years focused on two lines: its behavior in cooking processes. , where its best response in fried foods has been confirmed, and due to its qualities as a food, which have been found beneficial for different pathologies.
Sánchez Perona is the principal investigator of A study which is based on the fact that oleanolic acid, α-tocopherol and β-sitosterol, bioactive compounds in olive pomace oil, prevent the overactivation of the microglia, a set of cells of the central nervous system whose main function is defensive, and reduce inflammation neuronal, related to Alzheimer’s.
We can harness lipoproteins like Trojan horses
Javier Sánchez Perona, researcher at the Institute of Fat
“Lipoproteins reach the brain and cause inflammation, but they can also be used as transport, we can take advantage of them as a Trojan horse to supply the brain with compounds with anti-inflammatory activity”, explains Sánchez Perona.
During the first two phases of the research, with cells stimulated through a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and with lipoproteins rich in triglycerides, a reduction of inflammation markers between 50% and 185% was observed. The definitive clinical trial has been suspended due to the coronavirus crisis, but they hope to resume it shortly.
Oleanolic acid is also the base of an oil developed and patented by the Group of Bioactive Compounds, Nutrition and Health of the Fat Institute (GI), center of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), which has proven its usefulness as food function in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to the Prediabole study by researchers José María Castellano (IG) and José Lapetra and José Manuel Santos (Ciberobn of the Carlos III Health Institute). The investigation, published in Diabetes, obesity and metabolism, showed that the consumption of olive oil enriched in oleanolic acid can reduce the risk of developing the disease by half in prediabetic individuals.
Recent research by Carmen Claro Cala, from the Department of Pharmacology, Pediatrics and Radiology at the University of Seville, and Rosalía Rodríguez, from the International University of Catalonia, has joined the works on olive pomace oil. Their study, published in the journal Nutrients the MDPI, relates the consumption of this fat with the reduction of obesity, body fat, liver inflammation and insulin resistance, according to research on mice.
85% of the olive pomace oil produced in Spain is exported
Also a team from the Institute of Fat (GI) and the French Micalis-Inra, has found, this time in the fermentation of table olives, the presence of Lactobacillus pentosus LPG1, a lactic bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties in mammals, according to research published in Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins.
The other line of research on oils and, in particular on pomace, is developed at the Institute of Science and Technology of Food and Nutrition (ICTAN) of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), which has compared its behavior with others used for frying and has determined that the one from the second processing of the olive retains its nutritional power after several uses.
85% of the olive pomace oil produced in Spain is exported to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy or Portugal, according to Oriva, the interprofessional organization that groups together producers, industrialists and marketers of olive pomace oil. made of olives.
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