Assessment of volatile compound profiles and the deduced sensory significance of virgin olive oils from the progeny of Picual×Arbequina cultivars.J Chromatogr A. 2016 Jan 08; 1428:305-15.JC
Volatile compounds are responsible for most of the sensory qualities of virgin olive oil and they are synthesized when enzymes and substrates come together as olive fruit is crushed during the industrial process to obtain the oil. Here we have studied the variability among the major volatile compounds in virgin olive oil prepared from the progeny of a cross of Picual and Arbequina olive cultivars (Olea europaea L.). The volatile compounds were isolated by SPME, and analyzed by HRGC-MS and HRGC-FID. Most of the volatile compounds found in the progeny's oil are produced by the enzymes in the so-called lipoxygenase pathway, and they may be clustered into different groups according to their chain length and polyunsaturated fatty acid origin (linoleic and linolenic acids). In addition, a group of compounds derived from amino acid metabolism and two terpenes also contributed significantly to the volatile fraction, some of which had significant odor values in most of the genotypes evaluated. The volatile compound content of the progeny was very varied, widely transgressing the progenitor levels, suggesting that in breeding programs it might be more effective to consider a larger number of individuals within the same cross than using different crosses with fewer individuals. Multivariate analysis allowed genotypes with particularly interesting volatile compositions to be identified and their flavor quality deduced.