Main content area

Influence of olive ripening degree and crusher typology on chemical and sensory characteristics of Correggiolo virgin olive oil

Morrone, Lucia, Pupillo, Sabrina, Neri, Luisa, Bertazza, Giampaolo, Magli, Massimiliano, Rotondi, Annalisa
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2017 v.97 no.5 pp. 1443-1450
absorption, acidity, analysis of variance, bitterness, crushing, extra-virgin olive oil, olives, particle size, pastes, peroxide value, polyphenols, prices, ripening, scanning electron microscopes, seeds, sensory evaluation, texture
BACKGROUND: In this study, two types of crusher, hammer and blade, were used to produce olive oils from cv. Correggiolo olives at four stages of ripeness, to analyse the effect of these two factors on oil quality indices (free acidity, peroxide value, UV absorption), on phenolic compounds content and sensory profiles. Differences in chemical and sensory data were analysed by two‐way ANOVA. RESULTS: Ripeness exerted a stronger influence than the crushing equipment on quality indices, phenolic content and sensory evaluation; moreover the statistical significance of interaction between the factors considered suggests that they are intertwined. Differences in the texture of olive pastes obtained by squashing and crushing were clearly evident at the first stage of ripeness via observation with a scanning electron microscope. The stronger mechanical action of the hammer crusher also produced smaller pit fragments compared to the blade crusher, as shown by particle size analysis of the kernels fragments. CONCLUSION: Knowledge about the interaction between ripening and crushing will allow olive oil producers to pursue a product of the quality most suitable for a particular type of consumer. For example, bitterness and pungency, characters recently connected with health effects because sensory markers of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) polyphenols, do not have a great sensory appeal for most consumers; however, there is a niche of gourmet estimators interested in these peculiar flavours and ready to pay a premium price for them. The producer will be able to customise the EVOO by modulating its chemical and sensory characteristics, especially the phenolic fraction, thus addressing the needs of consumers with different tastes. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry