• olive;
  • phenolic composition;
  • fatty acids;
  • aromatic profile


BACKGROUND: Understanding the relationships between olive cultivars and the cultivation environment as well as optimising cultivation choices can lead to maximum expression of oil production in terms of both quantity and quality. For this purpose, samples of the Ortice olive cultivar grown in two different environments in southern Italy at altitudes of 500 and 50 m above sea level (a.s.l.) were harvested on various dates to monitor drupe maturation and determine the nutritional and chemical characteristics of the oils.

RESULTS: Fruits grown at 50 m a.s.l. ripened about 10–15 days earlier than those grown at 500 m a.s.l. The oil obtained at 500 m a.s.l. was characterised by a higher content of total polyphenols and a higher content of oleic and stearic acids.

CONCLUSION: The different heat accumulation related to the environment affected drupe development as well as the colouring trend and oil content. Consequently, the growth environment changed the content of Ortice oil fatty acids and polyphenols, while the flavour profile remained fairly stable in both environments, with the cultivar effect prevailing over the environment factor. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry