Biometric evaluation of twelve olive cultivars under rainfed conditions in the region of Calabria, South Italy
Biometrics are widely considered in table olive and olive oil production. Fruit size, flesh content and flesh/pit ratio are among the most important parameters in table olive processing, whereas oil and water content are among the most important parameters in olive oil production. In this work, twelve parameters from drupes of 12 cultivars in three harvest years 2014, 2015, 2016 (Region of Calabria, South Italy) were studied. Fruit weight was highest in Nocellara Messinese cv (more than 5 g in all the three considered harvest years) for this reason these fruits are preferred for table olives processing. Ottobratica cv showed the lowest number of fruits/kg as a consequence of the high weight of its drupes. Pit or stone (endocarp) weight was lowest in Ottobratica, Pendolino and Roggianella cvs (less than 0.5 g). Fresh flesh (mesocarp) weight was highest in Nocellara Messinese cv (4.26 – 4.49 g) and in Picholine cv (3.68 – 3.88 g), whereas flesh dry weight was highest in Frantoio and in Roggianella (more than 40% on pitted fruit), these last two cvs also showed the lowest moisture content i.e. less than 60% on pitted fruit. The longest drupes (longitudinal diameter) were produced by Nocellara Messinese and Picholine cvs measuring more than 25 mm, these two cvs produced also the fruits showing the highest horizontal diameter more than 18 and more than 16 mm respectively. In 10 from 12 cvs the highest oil content was found on 2016 and Pendolino cv showed the lowest content on 2014 and 2015. Cultivar and harvest year showed a highly significant influence on the olive fruit biometrics.
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