Carotenoids play an important role in the stability, freshness, and nutritional value of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). However, the carotenoid content in EVOO changes over time as a function of olive ripening and degradation. A reliable quality marker is the ratio between the two most abundant carotenoids, namely lutein and β-carotene, since the second degrades more rapidly. This paper presents a reliable method to assess the lutein/β-carotene ratio in EVOO using a single Raman spectrum. Resonant Raman spectroscopy is a rapid and non-destructive technique, widely applied for food chemical characterisation.. It is a novel approach for this application and offers the prospect of on-site screening of EVOO quality and authenticity, especially if implemented as a portable system.
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