Eleven 4-desmethylsterols and two phytostanols were identified by GC-MS during the ripening of Meski olive. The maximum levels of 4-desmethylsterols (1300 mg/100 g oil) and phytostanols (7.5 mg/100 g oil) were reached at the 26th week after the flowering date (WAFD) of fruit. β-Sitosterol (72-86% of total 4-desmethylsterols) was the major 4-desmethylsterols during the maturity of fruit, while sitostanol was the predominant phytostanols (75-85% of total phytostanols). Δ5-Avenasterol (2-18%) and campesterol (1.6-4%) were the second and the third 4-desmethylsterol levels detected, respectively, during the ripening of Meski olive. The levels of campestanol varied from 15% to 25% of phytostanols. The rate of accumulation of those compounds occurred before 30th WAFD. Some of these compounds (4-desmethylsterols and phytostanols) showed nearly the same profile during the ripening of Meski olive which could be linked to the relation between these compounds during their biosynthetic pathway. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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