The production of olive oil generates olive mill wastewater (OMW) which essentially derives from the processing, treatment and pressing of olives in mills. Traditional milling processes require a quantity of water varying between 40 and 120 L per quintal of pressed olives, generating a considerable amount of wastewater. It is thus necessary to reduce process water and enhance its use to implement the concept of a circular economy. To this end, our preliminary work was dedicated to water purification by means of suitable and efficient filtration systems. The microfiltered OMW was firstly concentrated through reverse osmosis. Then, an additional concentration step was carried out via vacuum membrane distillation using hydrophobic hollow fiber membranes. The application of the membrane-based processes allowed the recovery of a purified water and the concentration of valuable polyphenols in a smaller volume. The different fractions obtained from the purification have been tested for the determination of the antioxidant power (DPPH assay) and dosage of polyphenols (Folin–Ciocalteu assay) and were characterized using IR spectroscopy. All samples showed relevant antioxidant activity (percentage range: 10–80%) and total phenolic content in the 1.5–15 g GAE/L range. The obtained fractions were tested for their antimicrobial effect on numerous clinical isolates of Gram-positive and Gram-negative species, resistant and multi-resistant to current antibiotic drugs. OMW samples showed widespread activity against the considered (phyto)pathogens (MIC range 8–16 mg/mL) thus supporting the value of this waste material in the (phyto)pharmaceutical field.

Valorization and Potential Antimicrobial Use of Olive Mill Wastewater (OMW) from Italian Olive Oil Production

Russo E.;Spallarossa A.;Comite A.;Pagliero M.;Guida P.;Belotti V.;Caviglia D.;Schito A. M.
2022

Abstract

The production of olive oil generates olive mill wastewater (OMW) which essentially derives from the processing, treatment and pressing of olives in mills. Traditional milling processes require a quantity of water varying between 40 and 120 L per quintal of pressed olives, generating a considerable amount of wastewater. It is thus necessary to reduce process water and enhance its use to implement the concept of a circular economy. To this end, our preliminary work was dedicated to water purification by means of suitable and efficient filtration systems. The microfiltered OMW was firstly concentrated through reverse osmosis. Then, an additional concentration step was carried out via vacuum membrane distillation using hydrophobic hollow fiber membranes. The application of the membrane-based processes allowed the recovery of a purified water and the concentration of valuable polyphenols in a smaller volume. The different fractions obtained from the purification have been tested for the determination of the antioxidant power (DPPH assay) and dosage of polyphenols (Folin–Ciocalteu assay) and were characterized using IR spectroscopy. All samples showed relevant antioxidant activity (percentage range: 10–80%) and total phenolic content in the 1.5–15 g GAE/L range. The obtained fractions were tested for their antimicrobial effect on numerous clinical isolates of Gram-positive and Gram-negative species, resistant and multi-resistant to current antibiotic drugs. OMW samples showed widespread activity against the considered (phyto)pathogens (MIC range 8–16 mg/mL) thus supporting the value of this waste material in the (phyto)pharmaceutical field.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1084555
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