Research staff of the BReMAP Group (Reproductive Biology and Advanced Microscopy of Plants) of the Zaidín Experimental Station (EEZ-CSIC) have managed to determine for the first time the composition and origin of the set of proteins (the proteome) of extra virgin olive oil.
This study, published Food Chemistry X and expanded in Data in Brief , shows that some olive proteins resist the grinding and extraction process, and are transferred intact to EVOO. In addition, it points to the seed as the main source of protein in said oil, as reported by the EEZ-CSIC.
This organism has explained that proteins are minority compounds in olive oil and their presence is related to the stability in other edible vegetable oils. The identity of these proteins and their impact on olive oil is unknown since the protein fraction was isolated and quantified for the first time from samples of virgin oil and refined olive oil in 2001.
Seed storage proteins (SSP) constitute the main components of the olive oil proteome. This fact is relevant, according to EEZ-CSIC, since there are previous studies by the research group that show that these proteins have highly desirable nutritional properties, as well as anti-inflammatory capacity, and could modulate insulin signaling routes. In his view, these discoveries open the door for the potential use of SSP proteins as the basis for the creation of functional foods and oils in the near future.
In addition to these proteins, olive oil contains a lipoxygenase enzyme that could be partially responsible for the oxidative deterioration of unsaturated fatty acids and the pigments in olive oil. It has also highlighted the presence of several allergenic proteins, among which profilin stands out. This panallergen is a good candidate for study as responsible for the pollen-food syndrome that has recently been described in some patients allergic to olive trees.
"The identification of the components of the EVOO proteome will allow us to deepen their role in the stability of the oil and in its beneficial properties for human health", this organism has concluded.