• We collaborate with producers and distributors

    We collaborate with producers and distributors

  • We guarantee transparency in order to recognise quality

    We guarantee transparency in order to recognise quality

  • We comply with more restrictive sensory and chemical parameters

    We comply with more restrictive sensory and chemical parameters

  • We collaborate with the scientific community

    We collaborate with the scientific community

  • We help consumers choose discerningly

    We help consumers choose discerningly

Recently developed research has proved that the presence of milk protein (sodium caseinate) in an emulsion with extra virgin olive oil reduces the intensity of the perception bitter notes by a panel of trained tasters. The study, which aimed to look into the use of extra virgin olive oil as a functional ingredient in food products such mayonnaise, showed that the presence of between 1-4% of sodium caseinate added to the oil as it is or to an oil and water emulsion (65% oil) results in a reduction of the perception of bitterness by about 60%.

The establishment of protein-phenol bonds, albeit weaker than those that occur with tannins (wine, tea), would prevent saliva proteins and taste receptors from interacting with the phenolic molecules, reducing the perception of bitterness. The increase in viscosity of the system on the other hand only demonstrated a very slight decrease in the perception of bitterness. This study demonstrates that oils with a high phenolic content, if used as ingredients in food preparations, can contribute to the oxidative stability of the food following their interaction with proteins (and/or with other macromolecules such as starch) without altering acceptability on consumption. This gives the all-clear to the combination of dairy products and bitter extra virgin olive oils; and following on from wine/food matching, we can finally begin to open up to the concept of matching oil to food!

References: A.H. Pripp, J. Bush and R. Vreeker (2004). Effect of viscosity, sodium caseinate and oil on bitterness perception of olive oil phenolics. Food Quality and Preference, 15: 375-382. (sciencedirect.com, elsevier.com).

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