Characterization of volatiles in virgin olive oil produced in the Tunisian area of Tataouine.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10; 56(17):7992-8.JA
The Tataouine province in southern Tunisia is well known for its severe pedoclimatic conditions. Using solid phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography (GC), coupled to flame ionization and mass spectrometer detectors, we characterized virgin olive oils from Chemlali Tataouine, Fakhari Douirat, Zarrazi Douirat, and Dhokar Douirat varieties, which grow in the harsh arid region of Tataouine. Significant differences in the proportions of volatile constituents from oils of different varieties were detected. The results showed that lipoxygenase products were generally the major metabolites of the volatile fraction, and (E)-Hex-2-enal was the principal compound characterizing the olive oil headspace for most samples, though the absolute levels varied greatly, never exceeding 76.45 and 32.16%, respectively. The C5 compounds were unusually abundant, comprising 42.97% of the total lipoxygenase products and a remarkably high level of penten dimers. Each autochthonous variety could thus be differentiated according to the percentage of each metabolite.