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J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Apr;48(4):1106-10.

Relation of acidity and sensory quality with sterol content of olive oil from stored fruit.

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Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Avda Padre García Tejero 4, 41012 Sevilla, Spain.


Composition of the sterol fraction, fatty acid, acidity, and the sensorial evaluation of virgin olive oils were studied in two eastern Spanish varieties grown and processed under the same conditions. Fruits were stored at 5 degrees C and ambient temperature for different times. During fruit storage, there was no significant variation (P = 0.05) in fatty acid composition. However, the sterol composition of the oil varied markedly (in particular, there was an increase in stigmasterol), acidity increased, and there was a very significant decrease in sensorial quality. The stigmasterol content presented a high correlation with the acidity and sensory evaluation (P < 10(-)(6)). The total sterol content increased gradually with olive storage time. Oils with stigmasterol greater than campesterol are graded to a low level (lampant). It is of interest that sensorial quality is revealed by stigmasterol content, a fact unknown until now.

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