Influence of the fatty acid profile on the volatile components of virgin olive oil subjected to thermal stress.J Sci Food Agric. 2021 Aug 30; 101(11):4829-4837.JS
Virgin olive oil (VOO) is greatly appreciated for its organoleptic features, which can be ascribed mainly to the presence of very chemically diverse volatile components. It is well known that the VOO volatile fraction depends strongly on different aspects, which encompass genetic, agronomic, processing, and post-processing factors. In this research, we developed a method for the qualitative and semiquantitative determination of volatile components in VOOs subjected to thermal stress by headspace extraction online coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS).
The method was applied to 100 extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) samples, which led to the tentative identification of 52 volatile components, including 12 alcohols, 17 aldehydes, three ketones, one ether, two furans, two carboxylic acids, and 15 hydrocarbons. The method was used to study the cultivar effect and the main biochemical pathways involved in the synthesis of volatile compounds, with special emphasis on those formed by degradation of unsaturated fatty acids (FAs). Principal component analysis (PCA), explaining 76.7% of the total variability, showed that the volatile profile of EVOOs subjected to thermal stress allowed discriminating samples from different cultivars.
Volatiles detected in EVOOs subjected to thermal stress with the highest contribution to discrimination between the selected cultivars were correlated with the concentration of the three main FAs in VOO, namely oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. The FA profile seems to be especially relevant to explain the concentration of certain volatile compounds with direct incidence on the organoleptic properties. © 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.