Phenolic profile of virgin olive oil from advanced breeding selections

M. El Riachy, F. Priego-Capote, L. Rallo, M. D. Luque-de Castro, L. León


The evaluation of the phenolic composition in advanced selections in breeding programs constitutes the first approach for selecting genotypes with improved olive oil quality. In this work, the influence of genotype and ripening index on the phenolic profile of olive oils from advanced selections in comparison to their genitors was studied. Fruit samples were collected in genotypes from crosses between ‘Arbequina’ × ‘Picual’, ‘Picual’ × ‘Arbequina’ and ‘Frantoio’ × ‘Picual’ at five dates from 1st October to 26th November 2009. Characterization of the phenolic profile was performed by liquid–liquid extraction with 60:40 (v/v) methanol–water and subsequent chromatographic analysis with absorption and fluorescence detection in a sequential configuration. A dual effect of genotype and fruit ripening on the phenolic profile has been observed with more pronounced genetic influence in both total (34.73% and 20.45%, respectively) and individual phenols (16.99% to 49.25% and 1.58% to 23.77%, respectively). A higher degree of variability between genotypes at early ripening stages was also observed (p<0.05). The obtained results also allow identification of selections with high content of total and individual phenols. These results suggest a strategy based on early harvesting of fruits (at the first three ripening indexes) for better comparison and selection of genotypes in further crosses in olive breeding programs aiming at improving the quality of virgin olive oil.


cross-breeding; genetic variability; Olea europaea; phenolic composition; ripening index

Full Text:



Alarcón de la Lastra C, Barranco MD, Motilova V, Herrerías JM, 2001. Mediterranean diet and health: biological importance of olive oil. Curr Pharm Design 7: 933-950.

Amiot MJ, Fleuriet A, Macheix JJ, 1989. Accumulation of oleuropein derivatives during maturation. Phytochemistry 28: 67-69.

Andrewes P, Busch JLHC, De Joode T, Groenewegen A, Alexandre H, 2003. Sensory properties of virgin olive oil polyphenols: identification of deacetoxy-ligstroside aglycons as a key contributor to pungency. J Agric Food Chem 51: 1415-1420. PMid:12590491

Baccouri B, Zarrouk W, Krichene D, Nouairi I, Ben Yousef N, Daoud D, Zarrouk M, 2007. Influence of fruit ripening and crop yield on chemical properties of virgin olive oils from seven selected oleasters (Olea europaea L.). J Agron 6: 388-396.

Baccouri O, Cerretani L, Bendini A, Caboni MF, Zarrouk M, Pirrone L, Ben Miled DD, 2007. Preliminary chemical characterization of Tunisian monovarietal virgin olive oils and comparison with Sicilian ones. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 109: 1208-1217.

Baccouri O, Guerfel M, Baccouri B, Cerretani L, Bendini A, Lercker G, Zarrouk M, Ben Miled DD, 2008. Chemical composition and oxidative stability of Tunisian monovarietal virgin olive oils with regard to fruit ripening. Food Chem 109: 743-754.

Beltrán G, Del Rio C, Sánchez S, Martínez L, 2004. Seasonal changes in olive fruit characteristics and oil accumulation during ripening process. J Sci Food Agric 84: 131783-131790.

Beltrán G, Ruano MT, Jiménez A, Uceda M, Aguilera MP, 2007. Evaluation of virgin olive oil bitterness by total phenol content analysis. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 108: 193-197.

Bendini A, Cerretani L, Carrasco-Pancorbo A, Gómez-Caravaca AM, Segura-Carretero A, Fernández-Gutiérrez A, Lercker G, 2007. Phenolic molecules in virgin olive oils: a survey of their sensory properties, health effects, antioxidant activity and analytical methods. An overview of the last decade. Molecules 12: 1679-1719. PMid:17960082

Bianco A, Coccioli F, Guiso M, Marra C, 2001. The occurrence in olive oil of a new class of phenolic compounds: hydroxyl-isochromans. Food Chem 77: 405-411.

Bonoli M, Bendini A, Cerretani L, Lercker G, Gallina-Toschi T, 2004. Qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of phenolic compounds in extra virgin olive oils as a function of the ripening degree of olive fruits by different analytical techniques. J Agric Food Chem 52: 7026-7032. PMid:15537313

Boskou D, 1996. Olive oil composition. In: Olive oil: Chemistry and technology; AOCS Press: Champaign, IL (USA). pp: 67-103.

Brenes M, García A, García P, Ríos JJ, Garrido A, 1999. Phenolic compounds in Spanish olive oil. J Agric Food Chem 47: 3535-3540. PMid:10552681

Cardoso SM, Guyot S, Marnet N, Lopes-Da-Silva JA, Silva MSA, Renard CMGC, Coimbra MA, 2006. Identification of oleuropein oligomers in olive pulp and pomace. J Sci Food Agric 86: 1495-1502.

Conde C, Delrot S, Gerós H, 2008. Physiological, biochemical and molecular changes occurring during olive development and ripening. J Plant Physiol 165: 1545-1562. PMid:18571766

Dag A, Kerem Z, Yogev N, Zipori I, Lavee S, Ben-David E, 2011. Influence of time of harvest and maturity index on olive oil yield and quality. Sci Horticult 127: 358-366.

Damak N, Bouaziz M, Ayadi M, Sayadi S, Damak M, 2008. Effect of the maturation process on the phenolic fractions, fatty acids, and antioxidant activity of the Chétoui olive fruit cultivar. J Agric Food Chem 56: 1560-1566. PMid:18257524

De La Rosa R, León L, Moreno I, Barranco D, Rallo L, 2008. Ripening time and fruit characteristics of advanced olive selections for oil production. Austral J Agr Res 59: 46-51.

Frankel EN, 2010. Chemistry of extra virgin olive oil: adulteration, oxidative stability, and antioxidants. J Agric Food Chem 58: 5991-6006. PMid:20433198

Frías L, García-Ortiz A, Hermoso M, Jiménez A, Llavero Del Pozo MP, Morales J et al., 1991. Analistas de laboratorio de almazara. Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla. [In Spanish].

Gallina-Toschi T, Cerretani L, Bendini A, Bonoli-Carbognin M, Lercker G, 2005. Oxidative stability and phenolic content of virgin olive oil: an analytical approach by traditional and high resolution techniques. J Sep Sci 28 : 859-870. PMid:16013812

García JM, Seller S, Pérez Camino MC, 1996. Influence of fruit ripening on olive oil quality. J Agric Food Chem 44: 113516-113520.

García-González DL, Aparicio R, 2010. Research in olive oil: challenges for the near future. J Agric Food Chem 58: 12569-12577. PMid:21087051

García-González DL, Tena N, Aparicio R, 2010. Quality characterization of the new virgin olive oil var. ‘Sikitita’ by phenols and volatile compounds. J Agric Food Chem 58: 8357-8364. PMid:20593825

Gómez-Caravaca AM, Cerretani L, Bendini A, Segura-Carretero A, Fernández-Gutiérrez A, Del Carlo M, Compagnone D, Cichelli A, 2008. Effects of fly attack (Bactrocera oleae) on the phenolic profile and selected chemical parameters of olive oil. J Agric Food Chem 56: 4577-4583. PMid:18522402

Gómez-Rico A, Salvador MD, Moriana A, Pérez D, Olmedilla N, Ribas F, Fregapane G, 2007. Influence of different irrigation strategies in a traditional Cornicabra cv. olive orchard on virgin olive oil composition and quality. Food Chem 100: 568-578.

Gómez-Rico A, Fregapane G, Salvador MD, 2008. Effect of cultivar and ripening on minor components in Spanish olive fruits and their corresponding virgin olive oils. Food Res Int 41: 433-440.

Gómez-Rico A, Inarejos-García AM, Salvador MD, Fregapane G, 2009. Effect of malaxation conditions on phenol and volatile profiles in olive paste and the corresponding virgin olive oils (Olea europaea L. Cv. Cornicabra). J Agric Food Chem 57: 3587-3595. PMid:19338278

Issaoui M, Flamini G, Brahmi F, Dabbou S, Ben Hassine K, Taamali A, Chehab H, Ellouz M, Zarrouk M, Hammami M, 2010. Effect of the growing area conditions on differentiation between Chemlali and Chétoui olive oils. Food Chem 119: 220-225.

Jemai H, Bouaziz M, Sayadi S, 2009. Phenolic composition, sugar contents and antioxidant activity of Tunisian sweet olive cultivar with regard to fruit ripening. J Agric Food Chem 57: 2961-2968. PMid:19334763

Krichene D, Taamalli W, Daoud D, Salvador MD, Fregapane G, Zarrouk M, 2007. Phenolic compounds, tocopherols and other minor components in virgin olive oils of some Tunisian varieties. J Food Biochem 31: 179-194.

Lavee S, Wodner M, 1991. Factors affecting the nature of oil accumulation in fruit of olive. J Hort Sci 66: 583-591.

León L, Martín LM, Rallo L, 2004. Phenotypic correlations among agronomic traits in olive progenies. J Am Soc Hort Sci 129: 271-276.

León L, De La Rosa R, Barranco D, Rallo L, 2007. Breeding for early bearing in olive. HortScience 42: 499-502.

Montedoro GF, Garofolo L, 1984. Caratteristiche qualitative degli oli vergini di oliva. Influenza di alcune variabili: varietà, ambiente, conservazione, estrazione, condizionamento del prodotto finito. Riv It Sost Grasse LXI: 3-11. [In Italian].

Montedoro GF, Taticchi A, Esposto S, Selvaggini R, Urbani S, Servili M, 2007. Antioxidants in virgin olive oil (Review). Olea 26: 5-13.

Morelló JR, Romero MP, Motilva MJ, 2004. Effect of the maturation process of the olive fruit on the phenolic fraction of drupes and oils from Arbequina, Farga and Morrut cultivars. J Agric Food Chem 52: 6002-6009. PMid:15366855

Morelló JR, Romero MP, Ramo T, Motilva MJ, 2005. Evaluation of L-phenyllanine ammonia-lyase activity and phenolic profile in olive drupe from fruit setting period to harvesting time. Plant Sci 168: 65-72.

Owen RW, Giacosa A, Hull WE, Haubner R, Wurtele G, Spiegelhalder B, Bartsch H, 2000. Olive-oil consumption and health: the possible role of antioxidants. Lancet Oncology 1: 107-112.

Ranalli A, Contento S, Schiavone C, Simone N, 2001. Malaxing temperature affects volatile and phenol composition as well as other analytical features of virgin olive oil. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 103: 228-238.<228::AID-EJLT228>3.0.CO;2-7

Ripa V, De Rose F, Caravita ML, Parise MR, Perri E, Rosati A, Pandolfi S, Paoletti A, Pannelli G, Padula G, Giordani E, Bellini E, Buccoliero A, Mennone C, 2008. Qualitative evaluation of olive oils from new olive selections and effects of genotype and environment on oil quality. Adv Hort Sci 22: 95-103.

Rotondi A, Bendini A, Cerretani L, Mari M, Lercker G, Gallina- Toschi T, 2004. Effect of olive ripening degree on the oxidative stability and organoleptic properties of cv. Nostrana di Brisighella extra virgin olive oil. J Agric Food Chem 52: 3649-3654. PMid:15161244

Salvador MD, Aranda F, Fregapane G, 2001. Influence of fruit ripening on ‘Cornicabra’ virgin olive oil quality. A study of four successive crop seasons. Food Chem 73: 45-53.

Servili M, Baldioli M, Selvaggini R, Mariotti F, Federicci E, Montedoro GF, 1998. Effect of malaxation under N2 flush on phenolic and volatile compounds of virgin olive oil. Proc. 13th Int Symp on Plant Lipids, Sevilla, Spain. pp: 307-310.

Servili M, Esposto S, Lodolini E, Selvaggini R, Taticchi A, Urbani S, Montedoro GF, Serravalle M, 2007. Irrigation effects on quality, phenolic composition, and selected volatiles of virgin olive oils Cv. Leccino. J Agric Food Chem 55: 6609-6618. PMid:17636938

Servili M, Esposto S, Fabiani R, Urbani S, Taticchi A, Mariucci F, Selvaggini R, Montedoro GF, 2009. Phenolic compounds in olive oil: antioxidant, health and organoleptic activities according to their chemical structure. Inflammopharmacology 17: 1-9. PMid:19234678

Skevin D, Rade D, Strucelj D, Mokrovcak Z, Nederal S, Bencic D, 2003. The influence of variety and harvest time on the bitterness and phenolic compounds of olive oil. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 105: 536-541.

Torres MM, Maestri DM, 2006. The effects of genotype and extraction methods on chemical composition of virgin olive oils from Traslasierra Valley (Córdoba, Argentina). Food Chem 96: 507-511.

Tripoli E, Giammanco M, Tabacchi G, Di Majo D, Giammanco S, De La Guardia M, 2005. The phenolic compounds of olive oil: structure, biological activity and beneficial effects on human health. Nut Res Rev 18: 98-112. PMid:19079898

Tura D, Gigliotti C, Pedo S, Failla O, Bassi D, Serraiocco A, 2007. Influence of cultivar and site of cultivation on levels of lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants in virgin olive oils (Olea europea L.) and correlations with oxidative stability. Sci Horticult 112: 108-119.

Tura D, Failla O, Pedò S, Gigliotti C, Bassi D, Serraiocco A, 2008. Effects of seasonal weather variabilità on olive oil composition in northern Italy. Acta Hort 791: 769-776.

Yousfi K, Cert RM, García JM, 2006. Changes in quality and phenolic compounds of virgin olive oils during objectively described fruit maturation. Eur J Food Res Technol 223: 117-124.

DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2012102-264-11