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Impact assessment of mechanical harvest on fruit physiology and consequences on oil physicochemical and sensory quality from ‘Manzanilla de Sevilla’ and ‘Manzanilla Cacereña’ super‐high‐density hedgerows. A preliminary study

Morales‐Sillero, Ana, García, José M
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2015 v.95 no.12 pp. 2445-2453
antioxidants, cultivars, ethylene production, firmness, flavor, fruit quality, fruits, grapes, manual harvesting, mechanical harvesting, olives, oxidative stability, phenol, production costs, virgin olive oil
BACKGROUND: Super‐intensive cultivation facilitates olive mechanized harvesting, allowing substantial savings in the production cost of virgin olive oil (VOO). However, the number of varieties adapted to this type of cultivation is small. This study explores the impact that harvesting with a grape straddle harvester of ‘Manzanilla de Sevilla’ and ‘Manzanilla Cacereña’ olives grown in super‐intensive cultivation has on the physiology of the fruit and the quality of the oil subsequently extracted. RESULTS: For both cultivars, fruits harvested mechanically showed higher respiration and ethylene production and lower firmness than fruits harvested by hand. Their oils exhibited lower phenol contents, lower oxidative stability and lower presence of positive sensory attributes. However, in these oils the values of parameters used to assess the level of quality of VOO remained within the limits required for the best commercial category. CONCLUSION: Mechanical harvesting of ‘Manzanilla de Sevilla’ and ‘Manzanilla Cacereña’ super‐high‐density hedgerows induced physiological alterations in the fruits and a reduction in the contents of natural antioxidants and flavour components in the oils, though it did not result in a loss of the ‘Extra’ level of quality. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry