The health advantages of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) are ascribed mainly to the antioxidant ability of the phenolic compounds. Secoiridoids, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, phenolic acid, and flavones, are the main nutraceutical substances of EVOO. Applications of beneficial microbes and/or their metabolites impact the plant metabolome. In this study the effects of application of selected Trichoderma strains or their effectors (secondary metabolites) on the phenolic compounds content and antioxidant potential of the EVOOs have been evaluated. For this purpose, Trichoderma virens (strain GV41) and Trichoderma harzianum (strain T22), well-known biocontrol agents, and two their metabolites harzianic acid (HA) and 6-pentyl-α-pyrone (6PP) were been used to treat plants of Olea europaea var. Leccino and var. Carolea. Then the nutraceutical potential of EVOO was evaluated. Total phenolic content was estimated by Folin-Ciocalteau's assay, metabolic profile by High-Resolution Mass spectroscopy (HRMS-Orbitrap), and antioxidant activity by DPPH and ABTS assays. Our results showed that in the cultivation of the olive tree, T22 and its metabolites improve the nutraceutical value of the EVOOs modulating the phenolic profile and improving antioxidants activity.
Keywords: EVOO; HRMS-Orbitrap; Trichoderma spp.; antioxidant activity; phenolic content; phenolic identification; secondary metabolites.