Colour, odour, taste and texture are considered quality indices and significantly affect organoleptic properties of table olives. A good flavour is a result of the mixture of well odours and good taste attributes. The flavour varies with olive variety, the processing method and by the contribution of embellishments (vinegar, olive oil, herbs and spices). Taste notes are represented in the fruit matrix mostly by phenols (bitter), lactic acid (sour), lipids and inorganic salts (salty). Phenols have a great relevance because of their contribution to the colour, taste and texture of final product. Phenols are also known to have a beneficial role in human health. Recent studies suggest that sensory characteristics and fermentation process of table olives can be also improved by using starter cultures. In addition, attempts to employ table olives inoculated with probiotic microorganisms to prevent intestinal disorders or restore intestinal flora of human beings have been made. In this review, recent patents developed to improve sensory properties and human health benefits of table olives have been presented.
Table olives, microorganisms, biophenols, organoleptic properties