12212937491?profile=RESIZE_400xThere are many options for analytical techniques to authenticate edible oils.  One which is less frequently reported is Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC).  DSC measures the thermal properties of a sample as it is heated or cooled through phase transitions, and so is an indirect reflection of its fat composition.  Although crude in comparison to some analytical techniques, and unsuitable for complex mixtures, DSC has the advantage of being relatively cheap, rugged, and routinely available in laboratories that are not specialist in food authenticity testing.

This paper (open access) reviews recent applications of DSC for edible oil authentication, both with and without the use of chemometrics.  Most publications cited could detect the addition at 10% and above of cheaper oils to “premium” oils such as avocado or sesame.  There were also publications that could differentiate between cultivars (and, hence, origin) of extra virgin olive oil.  The authors concluded that DSC is a valuable weapon in the authenticity testing armoury.

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