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Pigment profile and colour of monovarietal virgin olive oils from Arbequina cultivar obtained during two consecutive crop seasons

Criado, Maria-Nieves, Romero, Maria-Paz, Casanovas, Maria, Motilva, Maria-José
Food chemistry 2008 v.110 no.4 pp. 873-880
Olea europaea, pigments, olive oil, cultivars, crop quality, seasonal variation, chlorophyll, carotenoids, food analysis, food composition, food storage, storage time, storage quality, carotenes, color, Spain
Monovarietal virgin olive oils are labelled with the olive varieties giving them their distinctive character. There are numerous studies focussed on the characterisation and quantification of the minor fractions of virgin olive oils that have generated databases on varietal olive oils. However, few studies have focussed on the components of the pigment fraction of virgin olive oils. The aim of this work was to quantify the components of the chlorophyll and carotenoid fractions of the monovarietal virgin olive oils from the Arbequina cultivar, growing in the Spanish area of Catalonia, during two consecutive crop seasons. Additionally the pigment changes occurring during 24 months of oil storage were evaluated. The results of this study showed minor qualitative differences between monovarietal virgin olive oils from two consecutive seasons. The quantitative differences could be attributed to the harvest period in each season rather than to the year's weather conditions. Storage of the monovarietal virgin olive oils probably caused an important loss of the chlorophyll fraction, mainly chlorophyll a, during the first 6 months of storage. On the other hand, the carotenoid fraction was very stable and the retention of provitamin A was close to 80%, even after 24 months of storage.