Fatty acids composition and pigments changing of virgin olive oil (Olea europea L.) in five cultivars grown in Iran

This study was conducted to evaluate some quality indices, fatty acids and pigments of five olive oil cultivars (Olea europea L.), namely 'Zard', 'Arbequina', 'Coratina', 'Frangivento' and 'Beledy'. The results showed high levels of oleic acid in the olive cultivars, ranging from 76.08% in 'Beledy' cultivar up to 80.72% in 'Coratina', whereas low levels of linoleic acid (2.30% to 3.41%) were obtained in 'Beledy' and 'Coratina' cultivars, respectively. Gas-chromatographic analyses highlighted that 'Coratina' cultivar appears to have the highest content of monounsaturated fatty acids (81.35 %) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (3.86 %). Moreover the oil of 'Coratina' had the highest amount of chlorophyll (9.51 mg kg^sup -1^) and carotenoid (4.97 mg kg^sup -1^). A clear and statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed for the total phenol content within the cultivars. Total phenol of 'Zard' cultivar was the highest (181.63 mg kg^sup -1^), while the lowest (148.42 mg kg^sup -1^) was in the 'Frangivento' olive oil. Also intermediate content of total phenols was measured in 'Arbequina', 'Coratina' and 'Beledy' cultivars (152.29, 168.72 and 170.52 mg kg^sup -1^, respectively). The radical scavenging activity of virgin olive oil from 'Zard' cultivar was higher (69.44% reduction) than that of other cultivars, while 'Arbequina' cultivar had the lowest (51.08% reduction). As all of the studied cultivars were grown in the same orchard with the same pedo-climatic condition, the results show that the studied analytical parameters were greatly influenced by the cultivar. Keywords: Virgin olive oil, Olive cultivars, Pigments, Fatty acids.

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