Nutritional Quality of Olives and Olive oil Produced in the Serra Da Mantiqueira from Brazil
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is one of the oldest fruits grown by man. Its fruit can be processed into olive oil or treated properly and serve directly for the in natura consumption in the form of olives. Extracted from the olive, the olive oil is highly valued in the market, for its nutritional benefits and also for its unique and delicate flavor. Brazil is the second largest importer of olive oil in the world, but technology is already available and the expansion of the crop has been taking place in the south-southeast regions, where the climate is favorable, in order to serve this market. The objective of this work was to evaluate the physical and chemical qualities of the olives and characterize, sensorially and chemically, olive oils from different olive cultivars planted in the Region of Serra da Mantiqueira. The olives and olive oils produced from the cultivars Arbequina, Arbosana, Grapolo 541, Koroneiki and Maria da Fé were evaluated at the EPAMIG Experimental Field of Maria da Fé, Minas Gerais, and Brazil. In the first experiment the olives harvested in February of 2015 were analyzed in terms of weight, volume, transverse and longitudinal diameter of the fruit and the lump and the relation of the olive/lump and the chemical (protein, lipid, moisture and ashes). In the second experiment the olives were processed by the grinding, beating and centrifugation method to obtain the oils. The olive oils were analyzed for acidity, peroxide index and absorbance in the ultraviolet region at 274 nm, 270 nm, 266 nm and 232 nm. After this characterization the olive oils produced in the Serra da Mantiqueira were then submitted to sensorial analysis. The results were submitted to analysis of variance and the means were compared by the Tukey test at 5% of probability. The interpretation of the data from the sensorial analysis was done using the software sensomaker. Differences were observed between olives and olive oils produced by different cultivars in the Serra da Mantiqueira. The cultivar Grappolo 541 produces larger fruits, indicated for the preparation of olives and in natura consumption. Due to the small size of the fruit, the cultivar Maria da Fé is more suitable for olive oil production. The oils of all cultivars are within the parameters established by the Brazilian legislation in force, being classified as Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The oils of all cultivars were well accepted by consumers, especially the cultivars Maria da Fé and Grappolo 541.