Polyphenols In Extra Virgin Olive Oil have Anti-bacterial Properties

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Researchers at the National Research Council’s Institute of Food Sciences and the University of Salerno has shown that polyphenols from three different olive oil varieties have an inhibitory effect against several bacterial/anti-bacterial strains.

Fighting Infection Causing Biofilms

The tests were performed using 2.5 and 4.9 micrograms of the three polyphenol extracts against different pathogens. The results showed that the minimum concentration necessary to inhibit the growth of the pathogenic tester strains was low for all the polyphenolic extracts. This confirmed their general capacity to inhibit the growth of pathogenic or unwanted microorganisms.

Anti-bacterial Mixed Culture Biofilm
Mixed Culture Biofilm

In particular, all three extracts were effective in inhibiting the growth of Escherichia coli. This is a bacterium that is one of the causes of urinary tract infections. The three extracts also were found to be capable of inhibiting the growth of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, a well-known pathogen that is responsible for the formation of biofilms. 

Biofilms are densely packed communities of microbial cells that grow on living or inert surfaces. They surround themselves with secreted polymers. Because the protective shell can keep out potential treatments.  Biofilms are at their most dangerous when they invade human cells or form on sutures and catheters used in surgeries. In American hospitals alone, thousands of deaths are attributed to biofilm-related surgical site infections and urinary tract infections.

Filomena Nazzaro, senior scientist at the National Research Council’s Institute of Food Sciences, Italy

“They gave us remarkable results in terms of their activity against pathogenic species. Namely those that are responsible for the formation of biofilms. This could be a basis of complementary studies to formulate ideal drugs of natural origin, composed of optimal mixtures of polyphenols, which are able to exercise with the minimum effort, in terms of quantity, and the maximum result, namely against the greatest number of pathogens, their antibacterial efficacy,” 

Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is High In Polyphenols

The high polyphenol content of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil is dependent on three factors. First is the variety of the olive, secondly the climate and terroire of the growing region and thirdly the actual time in the growing season that the crop is harvested. 

Morocco Gold is pressed from the Picholine Marocaine, the only type of olive to go into Morocco Gold. Oil from this variety is renowned for it’s high polyphenol count, oxidative stability and longevity. 

Our olives are grown in a valley that is about 2,000 feet above sea level. This helps to create the additional climatic challenges that encourage polyphenol uptake within the olive tree. It is also an area with naturally occurring high phenols in the soil itself.

In soils, phenols are released over extended period of time from decomposing plant materials. This causes complex organic compounds to be slowly oxidized.  Or to break down into simpler forms of sugars,  amino sugars, aliphatic and phenolic organic acids. These are further transformed into microbial biomass or are reorganized, and further oxidized, into humic assemblages (fulvic and humic acids), which bind to clay minerals. 

There has been a long debate about the ability of plants to uptake humic substances. And through their root systems and to metabolize them. There is now a consensus about how humus plays a hormonal role rather than simply a nutritional role in plant physiology. Olive trees grown in ‘challenging’ conditions encourage the uptake of naturally occurring phenols in the soil. This in turn aids the circulatory system within the olive tree, with the phenols eventually finding their way to the olive fruit itself. 

Thirdly, our olives are picked when the fruit is young and green. As the olives age on the tree, the colour of the olive changes to red and then black, the size of the olive increases thus producing more oil, but the polyphenol level decreases. There is a great deal of expertise within the farming community. We collect our harvest at optimum time with maximum polyphenol level.

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