, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 337–346 | Cite as

Detoxification of olive mill wastewaters by Moroccan yeast isolates

  • A. Ben Sassi
  • N. Ouazzani
  • G. M. Walker
  • S. Ibnsouda
  • M. El Mzibri
  • A. Boussaid
Original Paper


A total of 105 yeast strains were isolated from Moroccan olive oil production plants and evaluated for their ability to grow in olive oil mill wastewaters (OMW). The 9 isolates that grew best on OMW were selected for further study to evaluate their effect on removal of organic pollutants and OMW phytotoxicity (barley seed germination test). The results showed that at least four yeast isolates effectively lowered the toxicity of this effluent in addition to providing very useful materials in terms of both yeast biomass (6 g/l DW) and an irrigation fluid. This group of yeast isolates significantly reduced the concentration of total phenols (44% removal) and Chemical Oxygen Demand, COD (63% removal). The best germination rate of 80% for undiluted OMW was obtained for strain Candida holstii that also increased the pH from 4.76 to 6.75. Principal component analysis of the results obtained for the best yeast strains confirmed the importance of COD and total phenol reduction along with increase of organic nitrogen and final pH for the improvement of germination rates and phytotoxic reduction. This study has highlighted the potential of indigenous yeasts in detoxification of olive mill wastewaters.


Carbohydrate assimilation COD Detoxification Germination assays Olive oil mill wastewaters Total phenols Yeasts 



This project was supported in part by the Moroccan National Programme of Scientific Research: PROTARS II—P21/34.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ben Sassi
    • 1
  • N. Ouazzani
    • 2
  • G. M. Walker
    • 3
  • S. Ibnsouda
    • 4
  • M. El Mzibri
    • 5
  • A. Boussaid
    • 1
  1. 1.Equipe de Recherche de Génie des Bioprocédés, Département de BiologieFaculté des Sciences et TechniquesGueliz, MarrakechMorocco
  2. 2.Faculté des Sciences SemlaliaLaboratoire d’écotoxicologieMarrakechMorocco
  3. 3.Division of Biotechnology & Forensic Sciences, School of Contemporary SciencesUniversity of Abertay DundeeDundeeScotland, UK
  4. 4.Faculté des Sciences et Techniques FèsFezMorocco
  5. 5.CNESTENRabatMorocco

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