Volatile Compound Profiling by HS-SPME/GC-MS-FID of a Core Olive Cultivar Collection as a Tool for Aroma Improvement of Virgin Olive Oil.Molecules. 2017 Jan 14; 22(1)M
Virgin olive oil (VOO) is the only food product requiring official sensory analysis to be classified in commercial categories, in which the evaluation of the aroma plays a very important role. The selection of parents, with the aim of obtaining new cultivars with improved oil aroma, is of paramount importance in olive breeding programs. We have assessed the volatile fraction by headspace-solid-phase microextraction/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-flame ionization detection (HS-SPME/GC-MS-FID) and the deduced aroma properties of VOO from a core set of olive cultivars (Core-36) which possesses most of the genetic diversity found in the World Olive Germplasm Collection (IFAPA Alameda del Obispo) located in Cordoba, Spain. The VOO volatile fractions of Core-36 cultivars display a high level of variability. It is mostly made of compounds produced from polyunsaturated fatty acids through the lipoxygenase pathway, which confirms to be a general characteristic of the olive species (Olea europaea L.). The main group of volatile compounds in the oils was six straight-chain carbon compounds derived from linolenic acid, some of them being the main contributors to the aroma of the olive oils according to their odor activity values (OAV). The high level of variability found for the volatile fraction of the oils from Core-36 and, therefore, for the aroma odor notes, suggest that this core set may be a very useful tool for the choice of optimal parents in olive breeding programs in order to raise new cultivars with improved VOO aroma.