According to Coldiretti, Italy still continues to hold the European Quality record in extra virgin olive oils with origin designation and protected geographical indication (PDO and PGI). To date, 46 Italian brands are recognized by the European Union: 42 PDO and 4 PGI (Tuscan PGI, Calabria PGI; Tuscia PGI and PGI Sicily). Specific regulations, introduced for these quality marks, include the designation of both the geographical areas and the plant varieties contributing to the composition of the olive oil. However, the PDO and PGI assessment procedures are currently based essentially on farmer declarations. Tuscan PGI extra virgin olive oil is one of the best known Italian trademarks around the world. Tuscan PGI varietal platform is rather wide including 31 specific olive cultivars which should account for at least 95% of the product. On the other hand, while the characteristics of other popular Italian extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) cultivars from specific geographical areas have been extensively studied (such as those of Coratina based blends from Apulia), little is still known about Tuscan PGI EVOO constituents. In this work, we performed, for the first time, a large-scale analysis of Tuscan PGI monocultivar olive oils by 1
H NMR spectroscopy and multivariate statistical analyses (MVA). After genetic characterization of 217 leaf samples from 24 selected geographical areas, distributed all over the Tuscany, a number of 202 micro-milled oil samples including 10 PGI cultivars, was studied. The results of the present work confirmed the need of monocultivar genetically certified EVOO samples for the construction of 1
H-NMR-metabolic profiles databases suitable for cultivar and/or geographical origin assessment. Such specific PGI EVOOs databases could be profitably used to justify the high added value of the product and the sustainability of the related supply chain.
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