Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Bova Olive Cultivar and Aroma Fingerprint of Its Oil

Karolina Brkić Bubola1*, Marin Krapac1, Igor Lukić1, Barbara Sladonja1, Antonella Autino2, Claudio Cantini3 and Danijela Poljuha1

Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, K. Huguesa 8, HR-52440 Pore~, Croatia
2University of Siena, Department of Environmental Science 'G. Sarfatti', Via P.A. Mattioli 4, IT-53100 Siena, Italy
3IVALSA CNR, Trees and Timber Institute, Via Aurelia 49, IT-58022 Follonica, Italy

Article history

Received July 5, 2013
Accepted February 10, 2014

Key words

Olea europaea L., morphological characteristics, DNA fingerprinting, olive oil, volatiles, sensory characteristics


This interdisciplinary study aims to contribute to the characterization of Istrian (Croatia) olive cultivars and oil, giving for the first time the morphological and genetic profile of Bova cultivar, and chemical and sensorial characteristics of its oil. Morphological features of Bova cv. were determined according to the International Olive Council methodology, while molecular characterization was performed using eleven microsatellite markers. Bova cultivar was morphologically and genetically different from other described Istrian olive cultivars. The microsatellite profile of Bova was also unique when compared to more than 200 different Italian genotypes using the same set of markers. In order to characterize the oil from Bova cv., fruits from three trees at the same ripening stage were harvested and processed separately under the same conditions. Volatile composition of the obtained oil samples was determined using solid-phase microextraction with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. About 50 volatiles were detected, mostly hydrocarbons (34.69 % of total peak area), followed by aldehydes (25.80 %), alcohols (22.24 %), ketones (8.76 %), organic acids (4.08 %), terpenes (2.10 %), esters (2.18 %) and furans (0.26 %). Bova oil was rich in total C6 (39.87 %) and C5 volatiles (13.85 %), biogenerated through the lipoxygenase pathway. The most prevalent volatile compound was C6 aldehyde E-2-hexenal. Quantitative descriptive sensory analysis of the investigated olive oil samples was carried out by a sensory panel. The sensory profile was characterized by medium intensities of olive fruity, green leaves and grass, light tomato and aromatic herbs flavours with mild apple and other ripe fruit notes. The taste was characterized by medium to strong bitterness, followed by medium pungency and mild sweetness.

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