Effect of latent and symptomatic infections by Colletotrichum godetiae on oil quality
Santa-Bárbara, Ana Esperanza
Trapero Casas, Antonio
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Anthracnose, caused by Colletotrichum spp., is the main olive fruit disease. Colletotrichum can severely infect olive fruit with a negative impact on the oil quality. However, the relationship between visible infections of Colletotrichum spp. and olive oil quality is unclear and the influence of latent infections is unknown. This study considers Colletotrichum spp. latent infections and visible infections as factors affecting the quality of olive oil. IAbsorbance in UV (K232 and K270), free acidity, and peroxide index were evaluated in oils from fruit with latent and symptomatic infections by Colletotrichum godetiae of the cvs. Arbequina, Hojiblanca, and Picual. Olive oil samples from i) latent infected fruit at three maturity stages and after two incubation periods and from ii) sets of oils from mixtures of healthy and infected symptomatic fruit were used to determine the impact of the disease on oil quality. Oils from latent infected fruit of cv. Arbequina showed higher acidity than control oils (P = 0.012). Linear and exponential models were fitted to relate the oil quality parameters to the proportion of symptomatic fruit. Acidity was the most affected parameter, mainly in oils from cv. Arbequina. The thresholds of the percentage of affected fruits causing the loss of category in the quality of the oil varied greatly according to cultivar, with ‘Arbequina’ being the most sensitive.