Exploring harmony in extra virgin olive oils and vegetables pairings





Bitter, Extra virgin olive oil, Food pairing, Green fruity, Radicchio, Vegetables


Despite the growing interest in the sensory and healthy properties of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), the topic of oil-food pairing is practically unexplored. This study systematically explores sensory effects on the flavor and harmony obtained by combining two ingredients (EVOOs and vegetables) and aims to provide practical indications for harmonic oil-vegetable combinations. The approach considered an optimal pairing of five EVOOs combined with five typical raw Italian vegetables characterized by different degrees of bitter­ness (Artichoke, Late Treviso radicchio, Chioggia radicchio, rocket, Early Treviso radicchio). An Index of Disharmony was computed for each pairing, using intensity ratings given by a trained panel that described EVOOs, vegetables and pairings. The results suggested a flavor congruency principle to enhance the oil-pairing harmony. EVOOs with intense green and bitter flavor maximise harmony when combined with very bitter or very pungent vegetables. EVOOs with moderate green flavor and bitterness seemed best paired with vegetables with low/intermediate bitterness.


Download data is not yet available.


Bastian SEP, Collins C, Johnson TE. 2010. Understanding con­sumer preferences for Shiraz wine and Cheddar cheese pairings. Food Qual. Pref. 21 (7), 668-678. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2010.02.002

Bell L, Methven L, Signore A, Oruna-Concha MJ, Wagstaff C. 2017. Analysis of seven salad rocket (Eruca sativa) acces­sions: The relationships between sensory attributes and volatile and non-volatile compounds. Food Chem. 218, 181-191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.076 PMid:27719896 PMCid:PMC5066371

Bullon S. 1978. Longman Dictionary of the Contemporary English, Longman, Harlow, UK.

Caporale G, Policastro S, Monteleone E. 2004. Bitterness enhancement induced by cut grass odorant (cis-3-hexen- 1-ol) in a model olive oil. Food Qual. Pref. 15 (3), 219-227. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0950-3293(03)00061-2

Cefola M, Carbone V, Minasi P, Pace B. 2016. Phenolic pro­files and postharvest quality changes of fresh-cut radic­chio (Cichorium intybus L.): nutrient value in fresh vs. stored leaves. J. Food Compos. Anal. 51, 76-84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2016.06.004

Cerretani L, Bendini A, Rotondi A, Mari M, Lercker G, Gallina Toschi T. 2004. Evaluation of the oxidative stability and organoleptic properties of extra-virgin olive oils in relation to olive ripening degree. Prog. Nutr. 6, 50-56.

Cerretani L, Biasini G, Bonoli-Carbognin M, Bendini A. 2007. Harmony of virgin olive oil and food pairing: A method­ological proposal. J. Sens. Stud. 22 (4), 403-416. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-459X.2007.00115.x

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 of 11 July 1991 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-residue oil and on the relevant methods of analysis. Official Journal of the European Union, L 248 5.9.1991

Cravotto G, Nano GM, Binello A, Spagliardi P, Seu G. 2005. Chemical and biological modification of cynaropicrin and grosheimin: A structure-bitterness relationship study. J. Sci. Food Agr. 85 (10), 1757-1764. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.2180

Dinnella C, Masi C, Zoboli G, Monteleone E. 2012. Sensory functionality of extra-virgin olive oil in vegetable foods assessed by Temporal Dominance of Sensations and Descriptive Analysis. Food Qual. Pref. 26 (2), 141-150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2012.04.013

Drewnowski A, Gomez-Carneros C. 2000. Bitter taste, phyonu­trients, and the consumer: a review. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 72 (22), 1424-1435. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/72.6.1424 PMid:11101467

Eschevins A, Giboreau A, Allard T, Dacremont C. 2018. The role of aromatic similarity in food and beverage pair­ing. Food Qual. Pref. 65, 18-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.12.005

European Commission , 2013 COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 1348/2013 of 16 December 2013 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-resi­due oil and on the relevant methods of analysis. Official Journal of the European Union, L 338, 17 December 2013.

Gerhold KA, Bautista DM. 2009. Molecular and cellular mech­anisms of trigeminal chemosensation. Ann. NN. Acad. Sci. 1170, 184-189. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.03895.x PMid:19686135 PMCid:PMC2879328

Gutiérrez-Rosales F, Ríos JJ, Gómez-Rey ML. 2003. Main poly­phenols in the bitter taste of virgin olive oil. Structural confirmation by on-line high-performance liquid chro­matography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (20), 6021-6025. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf021199x PMid:13129311

International Olive Council (IOC). 2007. Glass for oil tasting. COI/T.20/DOC. 5/REV.1 - 2007.

Keller KL, Steinmann L, Nurse RJ, Tepper BJ. 2002. Genetic taste sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil influences food prefer­ence and reported intake in preschool children. Appetite 38 (1), 3-12. https://doi.org/10.1006/appe.2001.0441 PMid:11883912

Kostyra E, Baryłko-Pikielna N, Dabrowska U. 2010. Relationship of pungency and leading flavour attributes in model food matrices - temporal aspects. Food Qual. Pref. 21 (2), 197-206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2009.03.007

Lawless HT. 2000. Sensory combinations in the meal, in: Meiselman, H.D. (Ed.), Dimensions of the Meal: the Science, Culture, Business and Art of Eating, Aspen Publishers, Gaithersburg, MD, 92-106.

Lawless HT, Heymann H. 1999. Sensory evaluation of food: principles and practice. Springer, New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-7843-7 PMCid:PMC1723178

Naes T, Brockhoff B, Tomic O. 2010. Quality control of sensory profile data. In: Statistics for sensory and consumer science. J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK, pp.11-38. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470669181.ch3

Pasini F, Verardo V, Cerretani L, Caboni MF, D'Antuono LF. 2011. Rocket salad (Diplotaxis and Eruca spp.) sensory analysis and relation with glucosinolate and phenolic con­tent. J. Sci. Food Agr. 91 (15), 2858-2864. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4535 PMid:21725983

Paulsen MT, Rognså GH, Hersleth M. 2015. Consumer percep­tion of food-beverage pairings: The influence of unity in variety and balance. Int. J. Gast. Food Sci. 2, 83-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgfs.2014.12.003

Procida G, Giomo A, Cichelli A, Conte LS. 2005. Study of vola­tile compounds of defective virgin olive oils and sensory evaluation: A chemometric approach. J. Sci. Food Agr. 85 (13), 2175-2183. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.2122

Procida G, Cichelli A, Lagazio C, Conte L. 2016. Relationships between volatile compounds and sensory character­istics in virgin olive oil by analytical and chemometric approaches. J. Sci. Food Agr. 96 (1), 311-318. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.7096 PMid:25597626

Ranalli A, Lucera L, Contento S, Simone N, Del Re P. 2004. Bioactive constituents, flavors and aromas of virgin oils obtained by processing olives with a natural enzyme extract. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 106, 187-197. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejlt.200300863

Recchia A, Monteleone E, Tuorila H. 2012. Responses to extra virgin olive oils in consumers with varying commit­ment to oils. Food Qual. Pref. 24 (1), 53-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2011.10.009

Rotondi A, Bertazza G. 2001. Caratteri chimici dell'olio di oliva. In: La qualità dell'olio extravergine di oliva dei colli riminesi: la cultivar Correggiolo. Cristoferi, G. Ed. La Mandragora, Bologna, Italy, 87-99 [Rotondi A, Bertazza G. 2001. Chemical characteristics of olive oil. In: The quality of extra virgin olive oils from the Rimini hills: the Corregiolo variety. Edited by Cristoferi, G. La Mandragora, Bologna, Italy, pp. 87-99]

Spinelli S. 2014. Investigating the culinary use of olive oils. In: Olive Oil Sensory Science. Eds: Monteleone E, Langstaff S.. Wiley Blackwell, Jhon Wiley & Sons, Ldt, Chichester, UK, pp. 195-225. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118332511.ch8

Van Duyn MAS, Pivonka E. 2000. Overview of the Health Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption for the Dietetics Professional Selected Literature. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 100 (12), 1511-1521 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(00)00420-X



How to Cite

Cichelli A, Cerretani L, Di Lecce G, Piochi M. Exploring harmony in extra virgin olive oils and vegetables pairings. Grasas aceites [Internet]. 2020Jun.30 [cited 2024Feb.23];71(2):e353. Available from: https://grasasyaceites.revistas.csic.es/index.php/grasasyaceites/article/view/1825