Fatty-acid alkyl esters in table olives in relation to abnormal fermentation and poorly conducted technological treatments


  • B. Lanza Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA). CREA-OLI Olive Growing and Oil Industry Research Centre
  • M. G. Di Serio Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA). CREA-OLI Olive Growing and Oil Industry Research Centre
  • L. Di Giacinto Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA). CREA-OLI Olive Growing and Oil Industry Research Centre




Abnormal fermentation, Alkyl esters, Fatty-acid composition, Olea europaea L., Sensory analysis, Table olives


There are several methods to prepare table olives, and each of the steps and conditions during this processing can affect the composition and nutritional value of the product. The influence of abnormal fermentation and poorly conducted technological treatments was examined here in terms of the lipid fraction of table olives. In ‘Greek style’ olives, a low concentration of brine can allow the growth of spontaneous microflora and consequent organoleptic defects (‘putrid/butyric fermentation’, ‘winey-vinegary’). Here, the ‘Kalamata’ and ‘Moresca’ cultivars can produce methyl esters (methyl oleate/ linoleate: 553 and 450 mg·kg-1 oil, respectively) and ethyl esters (ethyl oleate/ inoleate: 4764 and 4195; palmitate: 617 and 886 mg·kg-1 oil, respectively). In ‘Sevillan style’ olives, a high NaOH concentration influences the fatty-acid composition less, but is difficult to eliminate, for a ‘soapy’ defect. The ‘Giarraffa’ and ‘Nocellara del Belice’ cultivars produce only ethyl esters (ethyl oleate/ linoleate: 222 and 289 mg·kg-1 oil, respectively). With this production of ethyl and methyl esters from the principal fatty acids in the lipid fractions of table olives, methods that provide only biological treatments (i.e., Greek style) pose more risk than methods that provide only chemical treatments (i.e., Sevillan style).


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How to Cite

Lanza B, Di Serio MG, Di Giacinto L. Fatty-acid alkyl esters in table olives in relation to abnormal fermentation and poorly conducted technological treatments. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2016Jun.30 [cited 2022Nov.29];67(2):e130. Available from: https://grasasyaceites.revistas.csic.es/index.php/grasasyaceites/article/view/1596