Olive tree is present to the Western and Southern regions of Albania, alongside Adriatic and Ionian Sea, two body waters of the Mediterranean basin. Genetic studies have revealed the existence of 22 native olive cultivars, while several introduced foreign olive cultivars are present. Two most important olive cultivars respectively, exploited in the olive oil production, and table olive, are Kalinjot and Kokërrmadh Berati. Olive fruit production ranks the country 20th in the world. Olive tree comprises an important permanent crop with considerable potential for the Albanian economy. Principal component analyses (PCA) of fatty acids in OO displays their differentiation according to the cultivar and their region. Chemometric analysis gives support to the differentiation of OO according to the olive cv. in terms of phenolic compounds. Secoiridoids are found in abundance, 3,4-DHPEA-EDA and p-HPEA-EDA as dominant compounds, especially in Kalinjot olive oils. Albanian OO shows high levels of aroma compounds with (E)-2-hexenal as the principal aroma compound. Its concentrations reach up to 40411 μg/kg in Kalinjot cv., much higher compared to Bardhi Tirana cv (27542.7 μg/kg). The authenticity of OOs constitutes an opportunity for domestic production and certification according to the geography or origin and present an important resource to the development of a sustainable economy.
Part of the book: Olive Oil