extra virgin olive oil authenticity (4)


Italian authorities supported by experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Technical Department of the Financial Police, have completed one of the country’s most extensive operations against the sale of mislabelled olive oil, by investigating 183 companies involved in olive oil imports and commercialisation. Products worth more than €170,000 were seized by the police, which resulted in a total of €10 million in administrative fines. Of the samples analysed, more than 27% failed the tests governing extra virgin olive. The authorities claim that they have prevented 2.3 million litres of virgin and refined olive oils labelled as extra virgin olive oil from entering the market. 

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There are 144 EVOOs registered with protected denomination of origin (PDOs) and protected geographical indication (PGIs), which may be vulnerable to fraudulent practices because of their high economic value. This study aimed to develop an instrumental tool to assess the compliance of PDO EVOOs from Catalonia. A sample set of 350 EVOOs were collected from different regions of Catalonia (260 samples)  over 3 growing seasons, and the rest of the EVOO and VOO samples (90) came from other Mediterranean producing countries (Greece, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey). Discriminant analysis based on the sesquiterpene hydrocarbon fingerprint determined by HS-SPME-GC-MS (headspace solid-phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) followed by chemometric analysis of the samples achieved a correct classification of 93.6% of samples among the four Catalan regional PDOs. However, the method achieved a discrimination between each Catalan PDO and the non-PDO samples, produced in different geographical areas with an efficiency between 95% and 99%.

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3877560624?profile=RESIZE_710x Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), has been the subject of many recent scandals of adulteration and fraud. Spanish researchers have proposed a new analytical platform by coupling electrospray ionisation (ESI) with differential mobility analysis (DMA), and mass spectrometry (MS) for the analysis of olive oils based on the information obtained from the chemical fingerprint (non-targeted analyses). Two approaches for preparing the olive oil samples were proposed: (i) sample dilution and (ii) liquid–liquid extraction (LLE). In order to test the feasibility of the method, 30 olive oil samples in 3 different categories (extra vigin -EVOO, virgin -VOO, lampante - LOO) were analysed, using 21 of them to elaborate the classification model and the remaining 9 to test it (blind samples). After applying chemometrics, the overall success rate of the classification to differentiate between the EVOO, VOO), and LOO was 89% for the LLE samples and 67% for the diluted samples. However, combining both methods, the ability to differentiate EVOO from lower-quality oils (VOO and LOO), and the edible oils (EVOO and VOO) from nonedible oil (LOO) was 100%. The results show that ESI-DMA-MS has potential to become an effective tool for the olive oil sector.

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Under Council Regulation 2081/92, extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) with protected origin status (PDO, PGI) will have specific olive cultivars used in their production laid down to achieve registration of their protected origin. This review details the use of microsatellite markers (SSRs- simple sequence repeats) to verify the olive varieties used in the production of EVOOs, and hence authenticate their protected origin status. This is achieved by comparing the molecular SSR profiles of the oil with online molecular databases. In Italy for example, the SSR profiles are processed into an "identity card" that can be converted to a barcode or QR code on the labels or bottle caps, which can be read at any point along the supply chain, even by consumers and inspectors via a mobile phone, to verify the status and authenticity of the EVOO.

1337657677?profile=RESIZE_710x Read the full paper

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