Italian and Argentine olive oils: a NMR and gas chromatographic study
Keywords:Gas-chromatography, NMR, Olive oil, Statistical analysis
High-field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography (GC) were used to analyze 16 monovarietal olive oils obtained from few matched Mediterranean cultivars grown in experimental fields located in Italy and in the Catamarca region of Argentina. The Catamarca region is characterized by extreme pedoclimatic conditions and by a wild spontaneous vegetation. The proposed sampling allows to study the effect of different pedoclimatic conditions on olive oil composition. GC gives the fatty acid profile of olive oil samples. 1H and 13C NMR techniques provide different information: the 1H NMR spectrum allows the measurement of minor components of olive oils such as b-sytosterol, hexanal, trans-2-hexenal, formaldehyde, squalene, cycloartenol and linolenic acid; the 1C NMR spectrum allows to obtain information about glycerol tri-esters of olive oils, i.e., about their acyl composition and positional distribution on glycerol moiety. All the NMR and GC results have been submitted to Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) and Tree Cluster Analysis (TCA). A careful analysis of the statistical results allows to select the Mediterranean cultivars less affected by the climatic conditions present in the Catamarca region. The selected cultivars produce olive oils which keep their Mediterranean characteristics and which can be proposed as colonizing plants in this wild Argentine region.
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