European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 244, Issue 4, pp 675–684 | Cite as

Sterol profiles of Tunisian virgin olive oils: classification among different cultivars and maturity indexes

  • Marwa Abdallah
  • María Vergara-Barberán
  • María Jesús Lerma-García
  • José Manuel Herrero-Martínez
  • Mokhtar Zarrouk
  • Mokhtar Guerfel
  • Ernesto Francisco Simó-Alfonso
Original Paper


The suitability of sterol profiles established by HPLC–MS as a tool to discriminate between seven cultivars of Tunisian virgin olive oils (VOOs) was evaluated in this study. Moreover, some cultivars (Chemchali, Fouji and Zarrazi) have been also classified according to their maturity index. A total of nine sterol peaks, which appeared in all samples, were used to develop linear discriminant analysis (LDA) models able to distinguish Tunisian VOOs according to their cultivar or maturity index. An excellent predictive classification was obtained since all samples were correctly classified. Therefore, it has been demonstrated that sterol profiles are a powerful tool to discriminate VOOs coming from different cultivars and maturity indexes.


Cultivar HPLC–MS Maturity index Sterols Tunisian virgin olive oils 



This work was supported by project CTQ2014-52765-R (MINECO of Spain and FEDER). M. Vergara-Barberán thanks the MINECO for an FPU Grant for PhD studies.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marwa Abdallah
    • 1
    • 2
  • María Vergara-Barberán
    • 3
  • María Jesús Lerma-García
    • 3
  • José Manuel Herrero-Martínez
    • 3
  • Mokhtar Zarrouk
    • 2
  • Mokhtar Guerfel
    • 2
  • Ernesto Francisco Simó-Alfonso
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of sciences of TunisUniversity of Tunis El Manar, Campus UniversityTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of biotechnology of oliveCenter of biotechnology of Borj CedriaHammam-LifTunisia
  3. 3.Department of Analytical ChemistryUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

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