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A UGR group studies the uses of "alpechín" (seepage from olives pressings) in the drug and food industries

The Paenibacillus jamilae bacterium is a microorganism capable of developing in "alpeorujo", and was described as a new species in the year 2001.

The interest of the research of the group directed by Alberto Ramos Cormenzana is due, to a great extent, to "jamilano", a substance produced by this bacterium. At the moment, according to Professor Ramos Cormenzana, “we are in conversations with the DOMCA Company, from Granada, to use it in the food sector”. In this sense, it could be used for giving consistence and texture to products like creme caramels or cremes.

Margarita Aguilera´s contribution is important for achieving these objectives and others which would place "jamilano" as an essential constituent in soil decontamination and fertilization. This scientist, belonging to the "Halophilic microorganisms" research group directed by Ramos, has practically managed to clone the gene of this microorganism.

The research originated from the study of the disinfection of waters contaminated with "alpechín" started in the late seventies. Fron that moment, the UGR [] Profesor and his team have collaborated with companies from Madrid and Jaén, together with other Italian research groups of the public and private sectors in the observation of how the composting of "alpechín" could be used to cultivate tomatos and mushrooms.

On the other hand, its uses in the field of pharmacy are being studied. Laboratory studies in-vitro and in animals are being carried out to test its toxicity level and the modulation of the biological response of a living organism. “The idea is to test if this compound could be used together with the medicine in question with a specific action or vaccine production”, Ramos Cormenzana explains.

Two-phase system

The research group belongs to a European network on olive oil production systems and remains use. In Spain, the production process has been changed by using the two-phase system which mixes "alpechín" and "orujo" to reduce the resulting "alpechín" volume. Extractors are suffering now from the ecological problem of waste and have started to look for uses of this new product, "alpeorujo".

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
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