The effects of three-irrigation managements (50% evapotranspiration [ETc], 75% ETc and 100% ETc) and two-maturation degrees (maturation I and maturation II) on the quality on Chétoui olive oil were evaluated. The following parameters were monitored: Pomological parameters, free fatty acids, peroxide value, total phenols, bitterness intensity, oxidative stability, fatty acid composition and aromatic profiles. After the irrigation period, the virgin olive oil exhibited some modifications, mainly in terms of fatty acids composition and volatiles. The amount of oil in the fruit seems not to be influenced by the irrigation management. To obtain the best quality and to use the minimum amount of water, the best irrigation level was 75% ETc.
Key words: Irrigation management, maturation state, Chétoui virgin olive oil, volatiles, oxidative stability.
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