Subzero Temperature Storage to Preserve the Quality Attributes of Veiled Virgin Olive Oil

Foods. 2023 Mar 13;12(6):1228. doi: 10.3390/foods12061228.


Unfiltered olive oils (UO) have gained popularity in the global market, but they lose their quality characteristics faster than filtered oils (FO). In this work, refrigeration and freezing temperatures were explored to maintain UO quality features during storage. A full factorial design was applied to an UO and to the same oil after filtration to evaluate the effect of storage temperature (room temperature, 4 °C and -20 °C) and freezing speed (slow-freezing, in the freezer at -20 °C and fast-freezing, in a bath of liquid nitrogen). Official quality parameters, polar and nonpolar phenolic compounds, oxidative stability index, volatile compounds and descriptive sensory profile were measured periodically over 24 months of storage in the dark. Storage temperature influenced the quality of both UO and FO, but in different ways. At non-freezing temperature, UO experienced a severe decrease in its sensory quality compared to FO, mainly due to the hydrolysis of secoiridoids and degradation of the volatile fraction, but storage at -20 °C allowed to effectively preserve UO quality traits, thus resulting as a suitable strategy to increase the shelf-life of UO to satisfy the demand of consumers for this particular product. The results showed that slow-freezing was the most appropriate method for freezing.

Keywords: cold storage; filtration; freezing speed; frozen storage; quality parameters; sensory quality; veiled olive oil.