Olive oil waste presented as promising for active cosmetics due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactives


Write in Comprehensive Food Science and Safety Reviews, Researchers from Portugal and Spain studied the potential use of waste generated during olive oil production, examining their use in foods, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In particular, the review shed light on the potential of olive pomace – the main residue from the olive oil extraction process – and the bioactive compounds contained in this waste.

Olive waste compounds offer a multitude of “biological properties”

The results identified the main bioactive compounds “more abundant”in olive pomace waste such as: hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropein, oleuropein aglycone and verbascoside.

The researchers said that in addition to being antioxidant in nature, these compounds have also shown “Other biological properties”, such as antimicrobials, anticancer and anti-inflammatory drugs, which could offer “Considerable health benefits” when incorporated in cosmetic or nutraceutical applications.

“After proper extraction and purification, these compounds can be used as food antioxidants or as active ingredients in nutraceuticals and cosmetics due to their valuable technological and pharmaceutical properties”the researchers wrote in the journal.

“… The possible applications of the bioactive compounds of olive pomace in different fields, after an appropriate purification, can be the object of a sustainable valorization in innovative products. This not only helps to improve the sustainability of the olive sector, but also for the economic and environmental aspects. “

Adding value to olive waste – important for the EU

Recycling of olive waste was particularly relevant for the EU olive oil industry, according to the review, especially countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Syria, Morocco and Tunisia, where olive oil production has remained one of the most important. “Most important industries”for the economy. EU countries produced around 69% of the world’s olive oil. So, as olive oil consumption continued to increase due to widely recognized human health benefits, waste recovery would be significant, the researchers said.

During the modern olive oil production process, designed to save 80% water and 20% energy, a two-phase system separated olive oil and semi-solid residues (olive pomace). The researchers said that although the treatment was more environmentally friendly, its residues still had “A negative impact on the environment when they are discharged without treatment” due to high toxicity and resistance to biological degradation.

Further research was therefore warranted – between olive oil producers and researchers – to study the best way to valorize these compounds while maintaining “environmental sustainability”in priority, according to the journal.

“It is imperative to develop green and efficient extraction methods to ensure higher recovery of these compounds and cooperation between industry and researchers to generate sustainable added value to these by-products, thus contributing to an economy. circular “the researchers wrote.

Bioactive compounds for cosmetics – hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein and verbascoside

While the potential “Added value”Olive waste was well known in several industries, with use in place in agriculture for soil fertility and the biomass industries for renewable fuels, the review noted very little research on bioactive compounds. specific properties in olive waste and their specific functional properties.

The researchers said that among the many bioactive compounds identified in olive pomace, there were three most relevant for cosmetic applications: hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein and verbascoside.

Hydroxytyrosol, for example, has been “One of the most powerful natural antioxidants”,they said, and one of the most abundant compounds in olive pomace. For cosmetics, this compound has been shown to prevent protein damage induced by long-wavelength ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells, as well as against atopic dermatitis, the researchers said. The compound also had demonstrated use in barrier creams to prevent inflammation and repair skin, they said.

It’s important to note that there were different patented methods to extract this compound, with particular promise offered by clean technologies like nanofiltration and reverse osmosis, according to the journal.

For oleuropein, another bioactive compound abundant in olive pomace, the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity was its main advantage for cosmetics. In the skin health category, it had been researched as an active ingredient for healing wounds and ulcers, for example.

Verbascoside, according to the review, was renowned for its antioxidant activity, acting as a “An effective scavenger of biologically active free radicals and an inhibitor of lipid peroxidation”, And that made it interesting for cosmetics and nutraceuticals. Its healing properties have also been described by various research articles over the years, the researchers said.

Source: Comprehensive Food Science and Safety Reviews
Published online ahead of print, November 2021, doi: 10.1111 / 1541-4337.12861
Title: “Applications of Bioactive Compounds Extracted from Olive Industry Waste: A Review”
Authors: J. Madureira et al.


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