Process Biochemistry, Vol.48, No.10, 1532-1552, 2013
Olive mill wastes: Biochemical characterizations and valorization strategies
The olive mill waste generated from olive oil extraction is a major environmental issue, particularly in Mediterranean areas. The extraction of olive oil is achieved through discontinuous or continuous processes. The two processes yield three fractions: a solid residue and two liquid phases (oil and olive mill wastewater). The characterization of these two by-products showed that they are mainly composed of phenolic compounds, carbohydrates, organic acids and mineral nutrients variably distributed depending on the process employed and the agronomic practices. Untreated olive by-products discharged between November and March into the environment are a major ecological issue for olive oil-producing countries due to their high toxic organic loads, low pH, and high chemical and biological demands. In this context, recent research studies highlight on the treatment approaches and valorization options for dealing with olive mill waste residues, predominantly those allowing for the recovery of valuable natural components such as phenolic compounds, dietary fibers, animal feed, biofuel, biogaz, enzymes, polymers and other. The impact of the chemical heterogeneity and water content of olive mill by-products about these processes of valorization and bioconversion is discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.