Factors limiting the synthesis of virgin olive oil volatile esters.J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 08; 60(5):1300-7.JA
The aim of the present work was to establish the limiting factors affecting the biosynthesis of volatile esters present in virgin olive oil (VOO). Oil volatile fractions of the main Spanish olive cultivars, Arbequina and Picual, were analyzed. It was observed that acetate esters were the most abundant class of volatile esters in the oils, in concordance with the high content of acetyl-CoA found in olive fruit, and that the content of C6 alcohols is limited for the synthesis of volatile esters during the production of VOO. Thus, the increase of C6 alcohol availability during VOO production produced a significant increase of the corresponding ester in the oils in both cultivars at two different maturity stages. However, the increase of acetyl-CoA availability had no effect on the VOO volatile fraction. The low synthesis of these C6 alcohols seems not to be due to a shortage of precursors or cofactors for alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity because their increase during VOO production had no effect on the C6 alcohol levels. The experimental findings are compatible with a deactivation of ADH activity during olive oil production in the cultivars under study. In this sense, a strong inhibition of olive ADH activity by compounds present in the different tissues of olive fruit has been observed.