Fatty acid ethyl esters in virgin olive oils: a correlation study with the volatile profile
Fatty acid ethyl esters are the newest mandatory quality parameters introduced for extra virgin olive oil classification linked to fermentative processes occurring in low-quality olives. Although it is clear the strong linkage of ethyl esters with sensory fermentative defects there is a lack of knowledge about their relationship with specific volatile compounds. Hence, a study was carried out to evaluate the correlation among extra virgin olive oil quality indices and its respective volatile profile with fatty acid ethyl esters. Thirty-five virgin olive oils were collected from local oily industry and analysed for the fatty acid ethyl esters content, the basic quality parameters, the total phenolic content and the volatile profile. The obtained results showed that the fatty acid ethyl esters were negatively correlated to total phenolic compounds (p<0.05) and trans-2-hexenal content (p<0.001) while positively correlated (p<0.001) to ethyl acetate and ethyl acetate/trans-2-hexenal and ethyl acetate/hexanal ratios. Interestingly, ethanol was not correlated at all with the ethyl esters content in oils.
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