This research aimed to study the influence of different brining processes with iodized and noniodized salt on mineral content, microbial biodiversity, sensory evaluation and color change of natural fermented table olives. Fresh olives of Olea europaea
Carolea and Leucocarpa cvs. were immersed in different brines prepared with two different types of salt: the PGI “Sale marino di Trapani”, a typical sea salt, well known for its taste and specific microelement content, and the same salt enriched with 0.006% of KIO3
. PGI sea salt significantly enriches the olive flesh in macroelements as Na, K and Mg, and microelements such as Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn. Instead, Ca decreases, P remains constant, while iodine is present in trace amounts. In the olives fermented in iodized-PGI sea salt brine, the iodine content reached values of 109 μg/100 g (Carolea cv.) and 38 μg/100 g (Leucocarpa cv.). The relationships between the two varieties and the mineral composition were explained by principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). Furthermore, analyzing the fermenting brines, iodine significantly reduces the microbial load, represented only by yeasts, both in Carolea cv. and in Leucocarpa cv. Candida is the most representative genus
. The sensory and color properties weren’t significantly influenced by iodized brining. Only Carolea cv. showed significative difference for b* parameter and, consequently, for C value. Knowledge of the effects of iodized and noniodized brining on table olives will be useful for developing new functional foods, positively influencing the composition of food products.
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