Analytical and organoleptic parameters for the differentiation of olive oils

Rivista : Anno 42/Numero 1

The market for premium priced foods has increased dramatically over recent years, as consumers become ever more aware of products originating from around the world. There are many food products that are of superior quality (taste, texture, fragrance) because of the locale in which they are cultivated. Environmental conditions, such as local climate and soil characteristics, combine to yield crops that exhibit specific traits. Olive oil is a commodity for which high value is attached to the region of it’s origin. In Italy, higher prices can be asked for extra-virgin olive oils depending on the region of origin. Recently, the European law (EC Reg. 182/2009) requires the indication of the geographical origin for all extra-virgin olive oils, irrespective than protected denomination of origin (PDO) and/or protected geographic indication (PGI) of origin. Therefore, in the last few years attention has been focused on authentication methods for the geographical origin of olive oils. In this work, a review of some analytical methods applied to assess and investigate the quality of selected olive oils produced in areas with different climatic and geological characteristics is presented. All data obtained by analyzing the methyl esters of fatty acids, trace element profiles and carbon isotope ratios were treated by means of proper chemometric procedures.

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