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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Jul 11;55(14):5681-8. Epub 2007 Jun 19.

Effect of the technological and agronomical factors on pigment transfer during olive oil extraction.

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Department of Food Technology, CeRTA-TPV, University of Lleida, Av/Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain.


The aim of this work was to determine the transfer of the chloroplast pigment fractions during the virgin olive oil extraction process, in relation to different factors: the ripening stage of the olive fruits, the irrigation water applied to the olive tree, and the addition of natural microtalc (NMT) during the oil extraction process. Results showed that the percentage of chloroplast pigments transferred from the olive paste to the oil increases with the ripening of the olive fruit (raw material). An excess of the water irrigation applied to the olive tree shows a reduction in the biosynthesis of chloroplast pigments in olive fruits, which is reflected in a low concentration in the virgin oils. Furthermore, the percentage of pigment transfer from the olive paste to the oil during the extraction process is reduced by irrigation, mainly of the chlorophyll fraction. The addition of NMT during the malaxation step produced an increase in the percentage of the total pigments transferred from the olive paste to the oil, in relation to nonaddition.

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