analysis of olive oil by chromatographyI have been noticing numerous news stories on extra-virgin olive oils being adulterated with cheaper refined olive oil or by the addition of hazelnut, soybean, sunflower, or other types of cheaper oils, and artificial coloring. In fact, according to a study done by the University of California at Davis, 69% of the olive oils they tested did not match their label claims! National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States did a 20-min podcast on this subject with a story titled, “Losing ‘Virginity’: Olive Oil’s ‘Scandalous’ Fraud.

The International Olive Council (IOC) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have established chemistry standards for extra virgin sensory standards.

Here, in this blog post, we present three published articles discussing high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with Charged Aerosol Detection (CAD) or electrochemical detection (ECD) methods to prove defects, degradation and dilution in olive oil.

Article: Discriminating Olive and Non-Olive Oils Using HPLC-CAD and Chemometrics presents a method for efficient differentiation of olive and vegetable oils using our HPLC instrument coupled to a CAD detector. The method characterizes triacylglycerides (TAGs) and enables differentiation between different classifications of olive oils, and between olive oil and non-olive oils (e.g., corn, sunflower, peanut, soybean, rapeseed, canola, seed, sesame, grape seed, and some mixed oils).

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Article: Olive Oil Quantification of Edible Vegetable Oil Blends Using Triacylglycerols Chromatographic Fingerprints and Chemometric Tools describes the analysis of triacylglycerols (TAGs) using an HPLC instrument with CAD in combination with Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression and using interval PLS (iPLS) for the quantification of olive oil blends with vegetable oils.

Article: Rapid and Complete Extraction of Phenols from Olive Oil and Determination by Means of a Coulometric Electrode Array System reports a rapid and complete analytical methodology of phenols in olive oil based on coupling N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) extraction and electrochemical detection.

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