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Effect of pretreatments on microbial growth and sensory properties of dry-salted olives
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The effect of various washing solutions (acetic acid, lactic acid, and chlorine dioxide) and NaCl concentrations (2.5, 5.0, and 10.0%) on the stability of dry-salted olives (cultivars Gemlik and Edincik) during storage was studied. Vacuum-packed olives were stored at 4°C for 7 months and monitored for microbiological changes that occurred in the dry-salted olives during the drysalting process and for their stability during storage. Microbial populations were enumerated using pour plating (for aerobic plate counts) and spread plating (for counts of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts and molds). Aerobic plate counts were < 2.5 log CFU/g for olive samples washed in chlorine dioxide at all NaCl concentrations. At 4°C, the population of yeasts and molds increased steadily during the shelf life in Gemlik olive samples washed with all of the solutions, except chlorine dioxide, whereas yeast and mold counts in Edincik olives decreased depending on the increase in salt concentration. Therefore, different combinations of organic acids, NaCl, and vacuum packaging can be successfully used to control the growth of yeasts and molds in these olives. The combination of vacuum sealing (with a 10-ppm chlorine dioxide wash) and storage at 4°C was the most effective approach for controlling the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts and molds. Members of the sensory panel considered saltiness to be appropriate at 2.5 and 5.0% NaCl. Softness and bitterness scores increased with reduced NaCl concentrations, but rancidity and hardness scores increased as NaCl concentration increased.