• Olives;
  • sensory analysis;
  • shelf-life


Changes in the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of commercial plain (whole) and pitted ripe olives of the Gordal, Manzanilla, Hojiblanca and Cacereña cultivars were studied during a three-year period in conditions that mimicking the storage of such products in real life. No spoilage was developed during this period. Throughout the shelf-life, the pH of the cover brines had a marked valley decrease at the beginning of storage followed by a progressive further decline, the surface colour (measured instrumentally) and firmness of the olives followed a first-order kinetic decay, mitigated according to the iron and calcium contents. Also, a slight browning of the cover brines at the beginning of the storage was observed. No significant changes in most of the sensory characteristics were observed by the panel test during shelf-life except for a limited change in olive surface colour. At the end of the shelf-life, most of the samples were classified as ‘extra’ category according to the IOC sensory evaluation method and only plain Gordal presentation was classified as ‘first, choice or select’.