Quality and fatty acid profiles of monovarietal olive oils produced from irrigated groves in Qaa region, Lebanon

M. El Riachy, G. Jebbawi, G. Hawi, L. Chalak, R. Massaad
Olive trees are grown in different agroclimatic areas in Lebanon, including very harsh conditions. The present work aimed to characterize the quality and fatty acid composition of olive oils originating from 11 cultivars growing with supplemental irrigation in Qaa region, Northern Bekaa, where annual rainfall rarely exceeds 200 mm. Monovarietal olive oils were obtained by processing the olive fruits with an Abencor system. Free fatty acids and peroxide values were determined by titration, and spectrophotometry was used to measure K232, K270 and delta-K. In addition, a rancimat apparatus was used to determine the oxidative stability of the analyzed oils. Finally, fatty acid composition was determined by using a gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector (GC-FID). Among the studied cultivars, 'Irta18' showed the highest industrial yield (27.24%), while 'Kalamata Jumbo' had the lowest (1.91%). The values of quality parameters were below the limits established by the International Olive Council for extra virgin olive oils. In addition, a large genetic variability was observed in all fatty acids, particularly for oleic acid, where 'Baladi' showed the highest value (74.53%) and 'Arbequina' the lowest (60.09%). For linoleic acid, 'Abou Chawkeh' showed the highest content (17.41%) and 'Kalamata Jumbo' the lowest (7.28%). For palmitic acid, 'Arbequina' showed the highest content (18.83%) and 'Koroneiki' the lowest (11.94%). This study indicates important variability in the quality of oils extracted from olive cultivars grown in Qaa region. This region may be suitable for the production of high-quality extra virgin olive oils. A more complete characterization including the minor components and organoleptic evaluation should be further considered.
El Riachy, M., Jebbawi, G., Hawi, G., Chalak, L. and Massaad, R. (2018). Quality and fatty acid profiles of monovarietal olive oils produced from irrigated groves in Qaa region, Lebanon. Acta Hortic. 1199, 529-534
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1199.84
Olea europaea L., virgin olive oil, olive oil quality, fatty acid composition

Acta Horticulturae