The Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in collaboration with the research institutions affiliated to the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia (CEICS), is launching the Martí i Franquès research grants programme, a public-private cooperation designed to attract highly talented doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to work on exciting research projects.
This programme honours the scientist Antoni Martí i Franquès (Altafulla, 1750 Tarragona, 1832), who made remarkable contributions not only to the fields of biology, physics and chemistry, but also to the economic development of Southern Catalonia.
He was the first scientist to accurately establish the composition of air.
SPECIFIC POSITION OFFER 2020PMF-PIPF-06
Virgin olive oil is the juice obtained by only mechanical means from olives. Apart from its functional properties, the aroma is one of its most appreciated attributes and it is mainly due to the olive from which it comes.
The current bibliography shows that it is possible to discriminate between olive oils coming from different olive varieties taking into account their volatile compounds however, there is a lack of information about the effect of these specific compounds over the whole aroma and how these make possible this differentiation.
This void becomes even more noticeable if we consider that the aroma is one of the most important criteria in consumer acceptance but it is not possible to explain which are the compounds related to some of the most important descriptors on that acceptance criterion.
These shortcomings show highlight that to determine the aroma compounds and to assess their significance in complex mixtures such as olive oil it is necessary to select a suitable analytical tool that allows the correlation between the sensory and the instrumental analysis.
Up to now, gas chromatography-olfactometry (GCO) is the most suitable technique for aroma characterization because it allows determine the volatile compounds that are odor-active by correlating sensory response with instrumental response.
Although there are some publications related to the application of this technique to the oil aroma analysis, there is a topic not yet much studied but that seems very promising.
Knowing the compounds responsible for the different aromatic notes will allow obtaining better olive oils since the producers will be able to influence the processes that favor the appearance or increase of the positive notes.
Furthermore, this knowledge will also help the tasting panels. This is because the training of the official panel will be able to use the specific chemical compounds to prepare samples to become familiar with the specific aromas, to determine its threshold and to build intensity scale for the oils evaluation.
From these premises, the main objectives of the project are : 1. Analysis of the aromatic profile and determination of the compounds that allows distinguishing characteristic varieties which are identifiable by consumers.
2. Analysis of the aromatic profile and determination of the compounds typical of mature olives, their relationship with the ripening state of the olives and with consumer perception.
3. Characterization of the aromatic compounds responsible for the sensory descriptors of the standard in olive oils with PDO in Europe.
4. Study of the the relationship between the presence of aroma active compounds responsible of characteristic aromatic descriptors and their identification and quantification by the official panel
Required Research Experiences
Skills / Qualifications
In general, be in possession of an official undergraduate degree, or equivalent, and of a master degree, and have passed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits during the course of their official university studies, of which at least 60 must be master s degree credits.