The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of two European olive cultivars, ‘Koroneiki’ and ‘Arbequina’,introduced in South and North of Tunisia. Olives grown in the two locations yielded extra virgin olive oils.Northern olive oils showed a greater amount of oleic acid, phenols and a higher stability, whilst in the southern oils had higher saturated and linoleic acid content. Phenolic compounds were also influenced by the pedoclimatic conditions; hence, oils from the North had the highest level of 3,4-DHPEA-EDA and a higher content in oleuropein aglycon (3,4-DHPEA-EA) than the corresponding olive oil samples obtained from trees cultivated in South. Furthermore, the majority of the studied analytical parameters were greatly influenced by the cultivar–environment interaction. In fact, significant differences between the studied oils were detected.
Key words: Arbequina cultivar, Koroneiki cultivar, fatty acids, location, phenolic compounds, virgin olive oil.
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