Dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion for olive oil in­dus­try

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Weekly -

AUS­TRALIAN re­searchers have iden­ti­fied dif­fer­ent com­po­nents in olive oils grown in two states, giv­ing grow­ers new ways to mar­ket their prod­uct.

The find­ings, part of a project funded by the suc­cess­ful Farm­ing To­gether pro­gram, could lead to a lo­ca­tion-ver­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem.

Grower groups hope the method will be adopted by all Aus­tralian states keen to ex­plore dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion in their prod­ucts.

Olive Cen­tre CEO Amanda Bai­ley and South Aus­tralian olive oil ex­pert Dr Richard Gawel un­der­took the anal­y­sis fo­cussing on two health-giv­ing com­po­nents, phe­nols and an im­por­tant bioac­tive, squa­lene, in oils from Fran­toio olives.

“It was the first time any­one had ever com­pared the polyphe­nol pro­files in oils from dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in Aus­tralia,” said Ms Bai­ley.

“And it was the first time any­one had tested squa­lene lev­els.”

Dr Gawel said: “Squa­lene in par­tic­u­lar is be­com­ing a rock-star in the health world, with some Ja­panese buy­ers in­sist­ing on min­i­mum lev­els of this rare an­tiox­i­dant found only in ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and, sur­pris­ingly, shark liv­ers. Pure squa­lene is also used in ex­clu­sive cos­met­ics and skin for­mu­la­tions. Un­der­stand­ing how re­gion­al­ity af­fects these com­po­nents will be valu­able to Aus­tralian grow­ers.”

The study in­volved a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Queens­land Olive Coun­cil and Olives South Aus­tralia, in­volv­ing 100 grow­ers from south­east Queens­land and South Aus­tralia’s Fleurieu Penin­sula re­gion.

The study showed that oils from the two re­gions, har­vested at the same ripeness and pro­cessed iden­ti­cally, could be dif­fer­en­ti­ated to more than 90 per cent ac­cu­racy by pro­por­tions of polyphe­nols.

Re­gion­al­ity also strongly in­flu­enced squa­lene con­cen­tra­tion.

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