Olive oil is one of the most widely used oils in the world with economic importance for many countries. Olive oil extraction generates large amounts of solid (cake) and liquid waste (olive mill wastewater, OMW), that pose a chronic environmental problem due to their disposal of the produced wastes on the landfill and water recipients. Thus, the research community is in search of techniques, individually or in combination, in order to detoxify waste. The common treatment methods belong to a one-dimension waste treatment approach, which is depollution. A practical way to overcome the financial obstacle of depollution is to develop treatment schemes that combine depollution with recovery of valuable ingredients, such as phenolics. The toxicity of this waste is mainly due to the high concentration of phenolic compounds, which, however, have strong antioxidant activity, turning OMW into an economical raw material for the recovery of bioactive compounds. Adsorption is generally considered to be the most effective and low-cost method for the removal of phenolics. So far, few studies have been carried out using sorbents for the removal of phenolics from OMW. However, the relatively high initial cost and the need for a costly regeneration system render common sorbents less economically viable. The objective of this work was to develop and optimize a new method for OMW management, using bioabsorbents from the food industry (such as coffee waste). The obtained phenolics will be used as a functional component in enriched foods.
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