Characterization of olive oils extracted from the main authoctone cultivars in Albania


1Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food, Agricultural University of Tirana/ Rruga “Pajsi Vodica”, Tiranë 1029, Albania  
2Department of Chemistry, University of Vlora/ Skelë, Rruga Kosova, Vlorë 9401, Albania

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The story of the origin of olive oil in Albania has no difference from its spreading path in the Mediterranean region. Albania is a Mediterranean country where it is beleived the olive tree has originated. The Albanian olive production region covers the entire coast from Saranda (South) to Shkodra (North) and inland river valleys in the districts of Peqin/Elbasan, Berat/Skrapar, and Mallakastër/Tepelenë. One of the main factors that affect the productivity and characteristics of olive oil is the type of olive tree cultivar.  There are more than 28 varieties of olive cultivars grown all over Albania. In this study there are taken into consideration oils produced from nine most representative autochthone olive cultivars: Kalinjot, Ulliri i bardhë i Tiranës, Mixan, Kotruvs, Ulliri i hollë i Himarës, Frengu, Boci, Karen and Kushan. For each type of cultivar there are presented region of plantation, surface planted, number of trees, typical cultural practices applied, type of processing of olives into oil and yeild of oil production.The extracted oils have distinctive characteristics and tastes. The evaluation of oils  characteristics was performed through a huge analytical work of analyses carried out in the samples of the olive oils extracted from the above mentioned nine cultivars, which consist in the definition of: Fatty Acid Composition, Total Polyphenols Content, Free Acidity, Peroxide Number, Jodium Number, Spectrophotometric measurements of K232, K270 and ΔK, Saponification number, Unsaponifiable Matter..

Keywords: autochthone olive cultivar; Olive oil; terroir; distinctive tastes.

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