Effects of soil salinity on the quality of ‘Arbequina' olive oil
Keywords:Arbequina, Chemical composition, Salinity, Virgin olive oil
This work analyzes the effect of soil salinity on olive oil quality. The chemical composition of oils extracted from young ‘Arbequina' olives subject in the field to three soil salinity levels (low-L, medium-M and high-H) was determined throughout a period of three years. A total of 30 parameters were analyzed (moisture, oil content, acidity, peroxides, ultraviolet absorbances, poliphenols, aliphatic alcohols, sterols, waxes, and fatty acid composition). Soil salinity was measured on fourteen different dates with an electromagnetic sensor. Overall, salinity increased oil content (+15 % in H with respect to L) and decreased aliphatic alcohols (-29 %) and palmitoleic acid (-32 %) (values significant at P<0,05). The rest of the parameters were not affected by salinity (P>0,05). In summary, olive oil quality was practically independent of soil salinity and, according to the prevailing legislation, all the oils were classified as “extra virgin”.
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