The influence of bearing cycles on olive oil quality response to irrigation

Alon Ben-Gal*, Arnon Dag, Loai Basheer, Uri Yermiyahu, Isaac Zipori, Zohar Kerem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Five rates of water application were applied in a 4 year study on olive (Olea europaea) varieties 'Barnea' and 'Souri'. Increased irrigation lead to increased tree-scale oil yields, lower polyphenol content, and, frequently, higher oil acidity. These effects were predominant in "off" years. The fatty acid profile was influenced primarily by bearing level and variety and secondarily by irrigation rate. The saturated to unsaturated fatty acid ratio was higher in "off" than in "on" years, and the monounsaturated fatty acid to polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio was higher in "on" years as a result of the fact that oleic and stearic acids were higher in "on" years, while palmitic, palmitoleic, and linoleic acids were greater in "off" years. Squalene was higher in 'Souri' than in 'Barnea' oils, was not affected by bearing cycle, and was consistently lower in oil from trees receiving the lowest irrigation level.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11667-11675
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - 9 Nov 2011


  • Olea europaea
  • fatty acid profile
  • free fatty acids
  • fruit load
  • polyphenols
  • squalene
  • water application


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