In 2019, a Europol-coordinated operation resulted in the seizure of 150,000 litres of low-quality oils that had been adulterated with colourants to make them appear like extra virgin olive oils, with 20 arrest made. There are recommended methods to authenticate olive oils using different test procedures applied one after the other, which is time-consuming and expensive. German researchers have developed a rapid NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) that gives a profile based on the identification of constituents such as fatty acids and polyphenols in one hour. A database of profiles has been built up with extra virgin olive oil produced in Greece, Italy and Spain permitting the country of origin to be checked as well.
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