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α-Tocopherol and fatty acids contents of some Tunisian table olives (Olea europea L.): Changes in their composition during ripening and processing

Sakouhi, Faouzi, Harrabi, Saoussem, Absalon, Cristelle, Sbei, Khaled, Boukhchina, Sadok, Kallel, Habib
Food chemistry 2008 v.108 no.3 pp. 833-839
alpha-tocopherol, fatty acid composition, olives, Olea europaea, food analysis, ripening, food composition, cultivars, brining, food processing quality, fermentation, pH, Tunisia
An experimental investigation was carried out on Tunisian olive-fruits of Meski, Sayali and Picholine cultivars. α-Tocopherol and fatty acids (FA) contents were analyzed, during both ripening and processing, according to the Spanish style. The relationship between oil, unsaponifiable and α-tocopherol contents was determined only during ripening. A genetic effect on FA composition was observed throughout the sampling periods. The highest oleic acid content was found in Sayali cultivar at green stage (78.5% of total FA). α-Tocopherol was positively correlated with unsaturated FA content (R =0.71, p <0.05), and oil amount (R =0.984; R =0.976; R =0.952, p <0.05 for Picholine, Sayali and Meski, respectively), but it was not correlated with unsaponifiable matter. In processed olive-fruits, the results showed primarily, that processing according to the Spanish style is not restricted to green olive-fruits but can be successfully used in cherry olives with guaranteed quality and nutritional value of processed product (Meski and Picholine) related to FA content. Secondly, both α-tocopherol and FA amounts decreased during processing for all cultivars. This decrease was cultivar dependent. It was more pronounced in the black fruit than in the green one for the same cultivar. During fermentation, pH variation showed the same profile in all cultivars. Final pH values at the end of fermentation depend on the concentration of free FA (acidity) in the brine.