Expert Panel Assessment of 57 Monocultivar Olive Oils Produced from the Tuscan Germplasm

C. Cantini1, *, G. Sani1, F. Gasperi2, F. Biasioli2, E. Aprea2
1 IVALSA CNR Via Aurelia 49, 58022 Follonica, Italy
2 IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Food Quality and Nutrition Department, Via E. Mach, 1, 38010, S. Michele a/A, Italy

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Cantini et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the IVALSA CNR, via Aurelia 49, 58022, Follonica, Italy; Tel/Fax: 39 0566 52356; Email:


An expert's panel according to the official method of International Olive Oil Council analyzed the organoleptic profile of the oils produced during one single harvesting season from 57 cultivars of the Tuscan germoplasm. The oils were grouped in three different clusters depending on the presence of different organoleptic features. The identified clusters of the extra virgin olive oils were compared for maturity index of the fruits and for the phenols content and acidic profile. Since phenols content and acidic profile depend on the genetic matrix hence the cultivar played a fundamental role on the overall quality. The majority of the varieties produced oils with the attributes requested by the local Protected Origin while others induced sensations, at the moment, not considered in the disciplinary of production like tomato or herbs. The presence of peculiar organoleptic attributes like tomato, sweet pepper, camomile or others is not common within the olive oils and they are present only to few varieties. The list of possible positive descriptors for the extra virgin olive oils could be enlarged or better specified including the terms of melon and chestnut flour. We proposed also the olfactory sensation of mushroom as reminiscent of the typical and pleasant odour of fresh cut mushroom as a possible new negative attribute of the extra virgin olive oil induced by the presence of antrachnose (Colletotrichum gloesporioides; Glomerella cingulata) on the olive fruits.

Keywords: Olea europaea L., cultivar characterisation, expert panel, official COI test, organoleptic descriptors, defect.