Grasas y Aceites, Vol 65, No 2 (2014)

Increase in the selenium content of extra virgin olive oil: quantitative and qualitative implications

R. D’Amato
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

P. Proietti
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

L. Nasini
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

D. Del Buono
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

E. Tedeschini
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

D. Businelli
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy


The biofortification of food crops for human consumption is a direct strategy increasing dietary intake of selenium (Se). The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of increasing the Se content of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) by spraying the olive tree canopy with sodium selenate and the effect of the increase in Se on the chemical properties and sensory characteristics of the EVOO. Se treatments were up to 50 times more effective in enhancing Se content in the EVOO compared with the untreated controls. Se concentration in all the EVOO samples can be considered adequate and useful for providing the human diet with the correct dose of Se. Se-enriched EVOO showed a significant increase in pigment and phenol content. Also, Se treatment does not produce negative effects on fruit characteristics or the sensory quality of EVOO.


Biofortification; Chemical parameters; Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO); Fruit characteristics; Nutraceutical value; Selenium (Se); Sensory quality

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