Oil Season 2019: Climate and Oil Quality

News & Topics , Topics 14 February 2020  |   Simone Pucci

Simple and reliable rapid olive oil analyses in the oil mill or on the oil company plant: chemical analyses are no longer a problem

The oil campaign is now completed in all the regions and it is time to draw the conclusions of another year considered not exceptional from various points of view.

The climatic conditions

As has often been the case in recent years, the productivity of the oil sector in Italy has varied greatly from area to area and the quality of the oil has been very heterogeneous: only a few regions have been able to record a good year while in many others the problems were already evident in late spring when the prolonged winter suddenly developed into conditions of heat and drought. In many areas these particular climatic conditions resulted in poor fruit set and consequently reduced productivity. The summer drought, especially in the north, and the late attacks of the oil fly contributed to the low quality of the oil produced and its scarcity.

In Tuscany, in particular, the season was characterised by low productivity and an underwhelming quality, considering all the factors involved.

The 2019 Oil Season was characterised by low productivity and an underwhelming quality, considering all the factors involved.

The olive oil quality

In order to evaluate the quality of the oils produced in the 2019 season, in the CDR Chemical Lab “Francesco Bonicolini” research laboratory, we analysed several samples from the Tuscan countryside with the CDR OxiTester system.

In some areas, the presence of the oil fly had caused above-average acidity concentrations and fairly high peroxide values. The warm autumn, increasingly frequent in recent years, meant that the oxidation processes of the olives started faster, increasing the value of the peroxides of the drupes in cases where the milling had not been performed soon after harvesting.

The polyphenols were once again far below the values expected in these areas.

In particular, the average of the acidity concentration values, calculated on just over 20 samples, was 0.34%. Only for 1 sample was the value slightly above the 0.8% required by the regulations for extra-virgin olive oils but for only a very few samples the values were less than 0.2%, as usually happens for most fresh and good quality oils.

The polyphenols were on average even lower than last year, which had already produced a poor result, as can be seen from the values of the averages found in recent years, shown in the table below:

Year

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Average polyphenols mg/kg of tyrosol

424

439

560

460

449

Results of the oil analysis

Below is the analysis table ordered by production date.  As can be seen from the colours, only one sample stands out for its very high quality (sample 12):

Results of the analysis of Tuscan olive oil - 2019 oil season

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