Olive oil, and especially virgin olive oil (VOO) and extra VOO, has great interest worldwide because of its unique fatty acid profile, phenolic compounds with positive health properties for the human health and appreciated aroma profile.
However, the composition of VOO can change dramatically depending on the olive variety, field management, olive fruit maturity degree, harvesting and processing, which can affect its final characteristic flavour. At industrial level, the extraction conditions applied can affect the concentration and composition of phenolic and volatile compounds, with possible negative consequence and the formation of off-flavours. Olive crushing, malaxation, centrifugation, filtration and storage were reported to be all possible factors affecting VOO flavour.
The present review paper describes the factors affecting the virgin olive oils composition, with a focus on the aroma compounds, biophenols and the resulting sensory profile. A particular focus was put on the volatile and phenolic compounds and their relation with the sensory description and impact of the final flavour. In conclusion, many factors still need to be studied to fully understand the complex composition and interactions of this appreciated product. This information is also relevant and useful both for scientific knowledge and for its industrial application, as producers can modulate the final characteristics of the VOO.
Citation: Caporaso N. 2016. Virgin Olive Oils: Environmental Conditions, Agronomical Factors and Processing Technology Affecting the Chemistry of Flavor Profile. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 2(1): 21-31.