Front Microbiol. 2022 May 6;13:897178. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.897178. eCollection 2022.
The chemical composition of the brine for Spanish-style table olives plays a crucial role during the fermentation process. Traditional laboratory analysis requires a high consumption of reagents, highly qualified personnel, sophisticated equipment, long analysis times, and large amounts of samples. Analysis carried out using an electronic nose (E-nose) offers an alternative, non-destructive technique and is useful in determining alterations in brines caused by microorganisms. In the present research, nine mold strains isolated from spoiled olives were inoculated in synthetic brines to determine the effect of microbial development on sensory quality, volatile profile, and the capacity of E-nose to discriminate altered brines from the healthy ones. The brines inoculated with the mold strains presented negative attributes related to aromas of mold, wood, leather, rancidity and, organic solvents among others. The highest intensity of defect was presented by the brines inoculated with the strains Galactomyces geotricum (G.G.2); three Penicillium expansum (P.E.3, P.E.4, and P.E.20); one Penicillium glabrum (P.G.19); three Aspergillus flavus (A.F.9, A.F.18, and A.F.21); and one Fusarium solani (F.S.11). A total of 19 volatile compounds were identified by gas chromatography. Sensory analysis allowed us to classify the synthetic brines based on the degree of alteration produced by the mold strains used. Also, the E-nose data were able to discriminate the inoculated brines regardless of the intensity of the defect. These results demonstrate the capacity of the E-nose to discriminate alterations in brines produced by molds, thereby making it a useful tool to be applied during the elaboration process to detect early alterations in table olive fermentation.