07 Jul 13 new olive varieties discovered in the north-east of Catalonia
Researchers are currently studying the genetic characteristics of newly discovered varieties to see how they cope with extreme weather conditions in the area.
It’s amazing that after thousands of years of olive cultivation, new varieties are still appearing, right? These varieties of olives have a very high proportion of oleic acid and a large number of polyphenols, which give them a bitter taste and a noticeable, balanced and aromatically rich spice, are interesting from an organoleptic point of view.
The study of such local and nowhere else occurring varieties may be of great interest in situations of climate change, or to identify genes for resistance to new pests, to identify genes for adaptation to drought conditions or other climatic changes. Catalonia is considered the least favorable climate for the ripening of olives in the country.
Currently, the Catalan olive sector is dominated by the cultivation of four main varieties – Arbequina, Morruda, Empeltre and Sevillenca – with Arbequina making up roughly half of all olives grown in the autonomous community. All four varieties account for about 85 percent of total olive cultivation in the region. The researchers hope to better understand the characteristics of the newly discovered varieties in order to support the traditional production of olive oil and diversify the Catalan olive oil sector.