AN APPROACH TO EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL CHARACTERIZATION BY STUDYING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLACE OF ORIGIND AND OIL COMPOSITION
For this aim 124 extra virgin olive oils, from Municipalities already known for producing high quality oil, were tested over a 5-year period, in conjunction with CO.R.E.OL. (Consorzio Regionale per l'Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Tipico Umbro).
The climatic characteristics of the Municipalities were evaluated on the basis of climatic diagrams.
The analytical parameters considered were: acidity, UV specific extinctions, peroxide number, total polyphenol content, fatty acid composition, triacylglycerol composition, fatty acid composition of the sn-2 position of the triacylglycerols.
The results show that, because it is possible to correlate the oil composition with the climatic conditions of the Municipalities, some of the analytical results may be easily used as indexes of origin, within the same region. Since the physico/chemical characteristics of an oil from a specific area can vary from year to year in function of climatic variations, the need to obtain annual standards at the beginning of each crop-year was confirmed.