Among the edible vegetable oils sold worldwide, the olive (Olea europaea) is one of the most important and ancient. The current Brazilian legislation ANVISA, Resolution RDC No. 270 of September 22, 2005, classifies only olive oils in three categories, as follows: virgin olive oil, olive oil and pomace olive oil refined. These products are classified according to raw material, production process and physicochemical characteristics (BRAZIL, 2005). The virgin olive oil or extra virgin is that obtained from the fruit of the olive tree only by mechanical process or other physical means, particularly in thermal conditions that do not lead to deterioration of the oil, and which has not been submitted to another treatment than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. The acidity expressed in oleic acid, should be less than 0.8% can only be extracted cold pressed, without passing any thermal or chemical process change its natural composition. With absolutely perfect taste and aroma, the extra virgin is considered the highest quality among all types of olive oil (percussive, 2007). The quality of olive oil is affected by various factors such as agronomic techniques, season, state of health of the olives, stage of maturity, harvesting and transportation system, method and duration of storage and processing technologies. Preserving the quality depends on the conditions adopted to store the product and duration of storage. The high quality oils from olives are fresh, healthy and picked at optimum ripeness (Ranalli et al., 2000). The chemical, biological, nutritional and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil make a unique product greatly appreciated. The Agricultural Research Corporation of Minas Gerais (EPAMIG) in partnership with the association the growers of the foothills of the Mantiqueira produced the first crop of organic olive oil in the country. In this situation, it is necessary and important to study the characteristics of this oil within the national quality standards established by ANVISA for classification of extra virgin olive oil and also evaluate the fraction of unsaponifiable compounds that contain micronutrients such as a-tocopherol, squalene and phenolic compounds that protect the body against external agents and development of diseases.
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