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Implementation of a physio-chemical approach coupled with a data fingerprinting methodology for the characterization of the Lebanese extra-virgin olive oils

Abstract : Olive oil is a vital component of the Mediterranean diet, hence Lebanese, owed to its well-known economic and nutritional value. Several environmental, agricultural, and technological factors play an essential role in defining olive oil's quality. In Lebanon, preliminary studies on the quality of extra virgin olive oil have shown that certain quality criteria exceed the International Olive Council's (IOC) standards. However, the causes of such non-conformities have not been clearly identified. Accordingly, ninety-six olive oil samples have been harvested from two seasons, processed using different extraction methods, and collected from eight locations (Akkar, Chouf, Hasbaya, Koura, Tyr, Nabatiyeh, Zgharta, and Hermel). These locations are identified by the European Union to have potentials for Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). In this perspective, and to meet the European framework's requirements, the analyzed oil will be subjected to conventional chemical analysis as suggested by the IOC and to ultra-fast analysis using 3D-front face spectroscopy (3D-FFFS) and ultra-flash gas chromatography (Ultra-FGC).A correlation between the fatty acid profile and the pedoclimatic conditions of the main olive growing regions in Lebanon was noticed. Three main pedoclimatic conditions, altitude, temperature, and relative humidity, were the major influencers and the reason for the distinctive fatty acid profile of the Lebanese olive oil. Lebanese areas with high altitudes, low average temperature, and low relative humidity have high oleic acid content. As for areas with lower altitudes, higher average temperature, and higher relative humidity, the fatty acid profile was characterized by linoleic, linolenic, palmitoleic, and palmitic acids. In addition to the environmental factors, agricultural ones, particularly the harvest date, had affected the chemical constituents of olive oil. The results obtained showed that the harvest date strongly influenced acidity and total polyphenols. A change in the fatty acid profile characterized by a higher linoleic and lower oleic content, an increase in ∆^7-stigmastenol exceeding the limit set by the IOC standards, and a dominating off-flavor compound (ethanol) was noticed as a result of delaying the harvesting time. Besides, two technological factors, particularly improper fruit storage, and bad hygienic practices, significantly affected olive oil’s quality parameters and fatty acid content.3D-FFFS and Ultra-FGC were used in-line with conventional analysis, and they both showed an undeniable performance. 3D-FFFS coupled with chemometric tools, namely multiple linear regression (MLR) applied on parallel factor (PARAFAC) scores and partial least squares (PLS), was tested on inconsistent qualities of olive oil samples to predict quality parameters. Twenty-two MLR models were generated, the majority of which showed a good correlation coefficient (R>0.7). A second model using PLS on the unfolded emission-excitation matrices was also conducted to improve the regression and assess whether the variability can be handled successfully. However, similar results, with a slight improvement over the MLR model, were obtained. As for Ultra Flash GC, it made it possible to identify, in only a few minutes (< 2 min), ethanol, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal (organoleptic defect), and 1-hexanol (fruity, grassy) as the main volatiles characterizing the Soury variety.This study offers the potential to disseminate an analytical control plan that links environmental aspects in Lebanon and cultivation/harvesting techniques to olive oil's resulting physicochemical characteristics. Such a matrix incorporating rapid analysis techniques will facilitate governance over the end product's final quality and, subsequently, conformity to IOC standards. Furthermore, this work will set the ground through a detailed identification fiche for PGI.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 12, 2021 - 2:32:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:41:28 PM
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Omar Dib. Implementation of a physio-chemical approach coupled with a data fingerprinting methodology for the characterization of the Lebanese extra-virgin olive oils. Chemical engineering. Université Paris-Saclay; Lebanese international university, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021UPASB004⟩. ⟨tel-03167838⟩



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