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Study of Volatile Compounds of Virgin Olive Oils with ‘Frostbitten Olives’ Sensory Defect

Romero, Inmaculada, García-González, Diego L., Aparicio-Ruiz, Ramón, Morales, María T.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.21 pp. 4314-4320
climate change, freeze-thaw cycles, humidity, olives, sensory evaluation, temperature, virgin olive oil, volatile compounds
Freeze injuries in olives are responsible for the ‘frostbitten olives’ sensory defect that is sometimes detected in virgin olive oil. This defect is becoming one of the most common negative attributes today because climate change has modified weather patterns. The temperature changes can take place abruptly, with rapid freeze–thaw cycles, or gradually. These changes produce significant alterations in the quality of the oils. This study analyzed the volatile composition of virgin olive oils characterized with ‘frostbitten olives’ defect. The volatile information allowed grouping these oils into two types characterized with two different profiles. One of them is characterized by ‘soapy’ and ‘strawberry-like’ perceptions and the presence of two volatile compounds (ethyl 2-methyl butanoate and ethyl propanoate). The second profile is characterized by ‘wood’ and ‘humidity’ descriptors and a high concentration of two volatiles (pentanal and octanal). These results on volatiles explain the existence of two sensory profiles associated with the ‘frostbitten olives’ defect.