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Olive Fruit Growth and Ripening as Seen by Vibrational Spectroscopy

Lopez-Sanchez, Macarena, Ayora-Canada, Maria Jose, Molina-Diaz, Antonio
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2010 v.58 no.1 pp. 82–87
olives, Olea europaea, ripening, vibrational properties, spectroscopy, spectral analysis, lipid content, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, food analysis, food composition, monitoring
The aim of this work was to examine the potential of ATR-FTIR and Raman spectroscopies to evaluate changes happening during the development and maturation of olive fruit. To do this, the spectra of the different parts of the olive (skin, flesh and stone) have been measured at different stages of development. The evolution of different spectral bands has been related to the content of olive constituents like triglycerides, water, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. Oil accumulation can be followed using both FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. The increase in bands at 1746 cm−1 (ATR-FTIR) and 1440 cm−1 (Raman) correlates well with the oil content in the fruit determined using the standard Soxhlet extraction method. In the case of overripe olives ATR-FTIR does not provide a representative spectrum of the olive flesh due to the accumulation of water on the surface of the ATR crystal. The increase of the content in carotenoids and phenolic compounds during olive growing and their decrease during the ripening phase can be successfully monitored by means of the Raman bands at 1525 and 1605 cm−1, respectively.