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Olive & Olive Oil

Olive & Olive Oil Thematic Line is an important contribution of LEAF for the sustainability of the olive and olive oil sector, a sector of great strategic importance for Portugal and other Mediterranean countries.


• Improve quality of olives and olive oil through optimal management techniques (fertilization, water, training and pruning techniques, alternate bearing control, pest and disease control, choice of cultivars, favouring of olive oil health related chemical compounds). • Minimize environmental impacts of the crop and process of oil extraction (reduction of inputs; pesticide monitoring, risk assessments, and interactions; olive mill waste water treatment, recovery and processing of by-products; manual of good practices) • Impacts of global climate changes (spatial and temporal impacts of global change on productivity, table olives and olive oil quality, cultivar distribution, and adaptation measures) • Production of new products from olive oil, namely functional lipids enzymatically produced. • Transfer of information, including implementation of a decision support system.

Organization and collaborations

This Thematic Line benefits from an extensive database on most of the above objectives, which was gathered along numerous projects on various aspects of olive chain (e.g., Futurolive, WUSSIAAME, H2OLIVE3S, ERANET-MED/0006/2014 (WASA), PTDC/AGR-PRO/0856/2014).

All LEAF research groups have the expertise to study most topics necessary to go on solving remaining problems: i) Olive orchard management (Group 1 & 2); ii) Crop growth, production modelling and impact of weather on production (Group 1 & 2); iii) Improvement of the quality of olive oil and valorization of the product (Group 3); iv) Sustainable management along the olive oil production chain (Group 1 & 2 & 3).

Institutional support: INOVISA for the eventual patentable products support; ADISA for establishing consortia with stakeholders and/or to provide services to the community; and reference laboratory for olive oil analyses (LET, ISA) will proceed cooperating with LEAF.

Links with the important Units of knowledge in this area, namely UCDAVIS (USA), University of Cordoba, Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (Spain), University of Jáen (Spain) and emerging ones (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, INTA; Florida Olive Council) guarantee an excellent development environment.

Jose Paulo Abreu

Thematic Line Coordinator

José Paulo Mourão de Melo e Abreu

Associate Professor