PIVOLIO: “Innovative processes aimed at valorising extra virgin olive oil in the provinces of Bari and Foggia” NOP 01_01958

PARTNERS – University of Bari, University of Salento, CNR (Institute of clinical physiology) in Lecce, CRA-OLI (Research centre for olive growing and the oil processing industry) in Rende (Cosenza), Oliveti Terra di Bari, Olearia Basile, Apulia Biotech

COST – € 4,000,000.00

THE PROJECT – The European Union regulation No. 1019/02, modified on 6.3.2009, which enforces the indication of origin of extra virgin olive oil on packaging labels represents an important step forward in guaranteeing product quality and transparency. It enables consumers to distinguish between various types of extra virgin olive oil coming from different areas of a region, or from other regions or countries.

Apulia produces on average about 40% of Italy’s total output of oil. Italy is the second largest European producer with a total production of 6,000,000 tons, two thirds of which are characterized by as many as 37 Protected Designation of Origin products (the PDO Terra di Bari is the only one able to guarantee significant volumes in terms of quantity and quality).

This means that a precise characterization of the product makes it highly competitive in Italy and also with respect to olive oils produced in other countries of the Mediterranean area.
The project sets out to pursue the innovative objective of effecting NIR analyses directly on the premises of individual production units (olive mills) for the first time. The advantage of effecting NIR analyses in individual production units (olive mills) is that they provide indications immediately available for production purposes, which help protect and classify product quality, as well as reinforcing the traceability system.

For the first time, this project introduces the concept of product identification through the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for characterizing the extra virgin olive oils produced in Bari and Foggia provinces, correlating the results with the genetic identification of the original cultivar, with the main micro nutrients in the soil, with the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the product. The cultivars identified for oil production are some of the most representative of Apulian production: Coratina, Ogliarola Barese, Cima di Bitonto, Cima di Mola and Peranzana sourced respectively from 15 different geographical areas of interest.

The data obtained from each monovarietal extra virgin olive oil will be entered into a database, specifically elaborated for the purpose of assessing the correlation between the spectrometric profiles of the NMR and the various characteristics of the oil samples studied. This multidisciplinary approach will improve the traceability of the original material from which the monovarietal oil has been produced and, as an added value, its label will show the soil content in micronutrients, the organoleptic and nutritional properties, as well as documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. These characteristics will make the product highly competitive on the market, owing to the greater amount of information made available to the consumer and will eventually contribute to developing the area further.

Project website: www.pivolio.it