Abstract

The most outstanding olive oil cultivar ‘Chemlali Sfax’ has low oleic acid level and high palmitic acid content and a tendency to biennial bearing. Cross breeding program of this cultivar was undertaken in Tunisia since 1994 using local and foreign cultivars. Selected hybrids were planted in a comparative trial since 2005. This study aim to characterize a new olive cultivar 'Zeitoun Ennwader' better than the original cultivar. Data on morphologic, agronomic and oil quality were recorded for the new cultivar. This cultivar is distinguishable from the original cultivar due to its morphological parameters of the fruit (shape, symmetry and apex) and the endocarp (symmetry, position of maximum transverse diameter and apex). This cultivar is different from the original variety on the agronomic plan by its low alternate bearing, its early bearing and its moderate sensitivity to verticillium. The oil of the new cultivar is different from the original variety by its better fatty acid composition (higher oleic acid content and lower palmitic acid content). The adoption of this cultivar will be of great benefit to farmers (high and more regular production) and to exporters (high oil quality).


Key words: Olive, Chemlali Sfax, Improvement, Oleic acid, Alternate bearing, Agronomy, Morphology