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Olive oil and table olives

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Ensuring the quality and authenticity of two of the most important, for the national economy, products such as olive oil, which has been at the forefront of food fraud practices and table olives, while enhancing their added value, are issues of major importance.
The main objectives of the project include:

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(a) for olive oil:

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the development of a digital database based on analyses (chemical, organoleptic, spectroscopic, and state-of-the-art techniques) of a large number of olive oil samples from olive mills, final products from the market as well as laboratory adulterated olive oil samples (by means of quality, origin and variety) in combination with pre-existing data. All these data will constitute the digital footprint of each sample and will allow the complete characterization of Greek olive oil which will document the uniqueness of each product.
Based on these analyses, models will be developed to distinguish samples in terms of:

  • variety
  • geographical area
  • freshness
  • whether the sample tested is conventional or biological
  • adulteration
  • whether it contains substances at concentrations that could give it particular nutritional characteristics to obtain a Health Claim.

(b) for table olives:

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1)the application of post-genomic analysis for mapping the microbiota of table olive emblematic varieties (Konservolia, Kalamon, Halkidiki) during their traditional production in different geographical areas of Greece;

2) the biogeographical association of the table olive microbiome with the different olive processing regions;

3) the identification of the ecosystem in the finished product using standard microbiological analyzes

4) the organoleptic evaluation of the finished product and the correlation of the organoleptic parameters with the different emblematic varieties and the geographical area of origin.

Additionally, within the framework of the project, will take place:

•three workshops (in Heraklion, Kalamata, Mytilene) on the results of the project
•a consumer behavior research on the adulteration and the selection of olive oil

The results of this project will create databases and protocols with product quality features for its certification, upgrading and competitiveness enhancement. The results will be immediately available to the stakeholders, as well as to associations and companies active in the production, standardization and distribution of olive oil.

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Olive oil

Project implementation involves a combination of chemical, biochemical and molecular analytical techniques and analyses using state of the art and high-resolution techniques as follows:

  • fatty acids, ΔECN triglycerides, sterols, aliphatic alcohols, K268, K232, ΔK, acidity, peroxides, waxes, alkyl esters, stigmastadienes, polyphenols, squalene, tocopherols, organoleptic evaluation
  • Optical diagnostic techniques using laser induced plasma
  • Diagnostic techniques of UV (Ultraviolet-UV) to Visible (Visible-VIS) absorption spectroscopy, Infrared-IR, fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Raman spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy [Fourier transform (FTIR)]
  • LC-ESI-QqTOFMS
  • GC-APCI-QTOFMS
  • High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
  • Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IR-MS)
  • Molecular identification of the variety of monovarietal-olive oils - SSR molecular markers
  • Molecular detection of oils of plant origin.

 

Table olives

The implementation of the project involves a holistic approach, combining genomic analysis, classical microbiology and bioinformatics in order to create a more complete picture of the microbiome responsible for the processing of the most economically important olive varieties intended for table olives production, from different geographical areas of the country.

It involves the application of specialized techniques and technologies as follows:

  • microbiological analyzes (lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, Enterobacteriaceae, TVC).
  • organoleptic evaluation
  • molecular techniques (shotgun post-genomic analysis for the characterization of the whole olive microbiome at the end of processing).

Challenges

of Greek olive cultivation

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Cultivation
problems

Main entomological and phytopathological problems (such as verticiullium, xylela)

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Experiments
& Analysis

Phenotypic and relative physiological analysis of seedlings in salinity

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Η Εμβληματική Δράση "Οι δρόμοι της Ελιάς" χρηματοδοτείται από εθνικούς πόρους μέσω του
Προγράμματος Δημοσίων Επενδύσεων της Γενικής Γραμματείας Έρευνας και Τεχνολογίας