Phenolic and volatile compounds of extra virgin olive oil (Olea europaea L. Cv. Cornicabra) with regard to fruit ripening and irrigation management

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 20;54(19):7130-6. doi: 10.1021/jf060798r.


This study investigated the effect of both the degree of ripening of the olive fruit and irrigation management-rain-fed, two different regulated deficit irrigations (RDI), the method proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (known as FAO), and 125 FAO (125% FAO)-on the phenolic and volatile composition of Cornicabra virgin olive oils obtained during two crop seasons. Secoiridoid phenolic derivatives greatly decreased upon increase of both irrigation and ripening, for example, the 3,4-DHPEA-EDA content decreased from 770 to 450 mg/kg through fruit ripening under rain-fed conditions and from 676 to 388 mg/kg from rain-fed conditions to FAO irrigation treatment (at a ripeness index of approximately 4). Moreover, secoiridoid derivatives of hydroxytyrosol decreased more than those of tyrosol. The levels of major volatile components decreased in the course of ripening but were higher in irrigated olive oils: for example, the E-2-hexenal content ranged between 4.2 and 2.6 mg/kg (expressed as 4-methyl-2-pentanol) over fruit maturation under rain-fed conditions and between 8.0 and 3.5 mg/kg under FAO scheduling. It is important to note that where water was applied only from the beginning of August (RDI-2), when oil begins to accumulate in the fruit, the resulting virgin olive oil presented a phenol and volatile profile similar to those of the FAO and 125 FAO methods, but with a considerable reduction in the amount of water supplied to the olive orchard.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Fruit / growth & development*
  • Olea / growth & development*
  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Spain
  • Volatilization
  • Water


  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols
  • Plant Oils
  • Water