BACKGROUND: The volatile composition of alcaparras stoned table olives produced from five of the most representative olive cultivars (cv. Cobrançosa, Madural, Negrinha de Freixo, Santulhana and Verdeal Transmontana) from the Trás-os-Montes region (north-east of Portugal) was analytically characterised using headspace–solid phase microextraction/gas chromatography–ion trap–mass spectrometry.
RESULTS: Overall, 42 volatile compounds were identified, belonging to distinct chemical classes: 15 aldehydes, seven esters, five alcohols, five sesquiterpenes, four norisoprenoids derivates, three monoterpenes, o ne ketone and two alkenes. Aldehydes were the major chemical class identified in all olive cultivars studied (more than 74% of all the volatile compounds identified). Hexanal, phenylacetaldehyde and (E,E)-2,4-heptadienal were the major volatile compounds identified.
CONCLUSIONS: It was possible to discriminate the results obtained from the volatile profile of the five olive cultivars by using principal component analysis. Both qualitative and quantitative fractions of alcaparras table olives were influenced by olive cultivar, which confers a single aroma. This fact certainly influences consumer preference and acceptability towards a specific olive cultivar. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry