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Keywords:

  • Fatty acids;
  • Olive oil;
  • Ripening;
  • Sensorial characteristics;
  • Volatiles

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to determine the impact of fruit ripening on chemical and sensorial changes in monovarietal olive oils obtained from two important olive cultivars grown in Croatia, Buža and Črna. In Buža oils peroxide value, K232 and K270 increased during ripening, while no differences among three ripening stages in Črna oils were observed. Oils of both cultivars at the later ripening stages had higher free acidity level and lower sensory score followed by mild loss in almost all positive sensory characteristics. Total phenols and antioxidant capacity decreased in Buža oils during fruit ripening, while in Črna oils reached maximum level in purple stage and then progressively decreased in the black ripening stage. Oleic acid level slightly increased during ripening in both cultivar oils. Linoleic acid decreased in Buža oils obtained from black fruits while palmitic acid decreased in Črna oils during ripening. In both monovarietal oils chlorophyll and carotenoids concentrations decreased during ripening. The two cultivars had different course of total aldehydes, total esters and total ketones during ripening, while total alcohols were the highest in oils from purple ripening stage and then decreased as ripening progress.

Practical applications: During the ripening, the chemical composition of olive fruit changes influencing the quality grade, oxidative stability, sensory characteristics and nutritional value of the obtained products. The cultivars characterized by a similar trend of ripening process could have different course of chemical and sensorial changes in oil during fruit ripening. Therefore, knowledge about these changes is important for determination of proper harvest time of single cultivar to achieve optimum of its potential regarding desirable characteristics of obtained oil.