This chapter provides an updated overview about the chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments present in olive fruits and their products, table olive, and olive oil. The metabolism of these pigments during growth and ripening of the olive fruit is described. General aspects related to photosynthetic tissues and non-carotenogenic fruits, varieties and the presence of exclusive pigments, the total pigment content, and their relative proportions are highlighted. Chlorophyll and carotenoid changes during the processing of green table olives according to the main styles of preparation are described. Different reaction mechanisms depending on the removal of the bitter components by alkaline hydrolysis or by slow diffusion in brine, as well as the development of the fermentation process, are discussed. The chlorophyll degradation associated with the green staining alteration is specifically mentioned. Changes in the pigment profiles and in their concentrations associated with the virgin olive oil (VOO) elaboration are also described. Recent research works related to thermal degradation kinetics and prediction mathematical model for VOO storage are summarized. The role of the chlorophylls in the photo-oxidation of VOO is also pointed out. Finally, the pigment profiles as authenticity and freshness indices for VOO quality are emphasized.
Part of the book: Products from Olive Tree