Olive oil quality control “PROBE OIL”

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imageConsumers became more conscious in recent years on the quality, nutritional and shelf life properties of food products At the same time, there is an increased interest by food producers to reveal frauds and to assure quality of their products In particular, olive oil has become more popular as a healthy food in contrast with the rapid decrease in world demand for animal fats in all their forms Olive oil is a high quality natural product, typical of the Mediterranean area and the various methods used for extracting olive oil yield the different qualities of olive oil known as extra virgin, virgin and lampante olive oil

The chemical methods which are traditionally used to measure the quality parameters of olive oil and classify it as extra virgin, virgin or lampante olive oil as well as to evaluate its nutritional and functional characteristics, are time consuming, environmentally non-friendly, expensive and often require highly qualified staff Moreover, the oil industry requires real time chemical information of olive oil in order to control the processing parameters during production to ensure a high quality for the olive oil product

In order to overcome the disadvantages and limitations of the previous methods, optical techniques are emerging as a more convenient technical approach Absorption spectroscopy in ultraviolet UV visible VIS and near-infrared NIR areas of the spectrum or combinations of them, are currently being used for facile, non-destructive, rapid, real-time and off/on-line monitoring of olive oil quality parameters This is accomplished directly from neat oil samples utilizing multivariate chemometric tools

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A novel portable device with an accompanying software analysis tool for the assessment of olive oil quality has been developed with the collaboration of the Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics -NCSR Demokritos and the Chemistry Department of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece The device has the advantages of a portability b low cost c no sample preparation b the ability to monitor the optical spectra fingerprint of olive oils during the various stages of the production process and during storage The device in the current stage of development uses UV-Vis spectroscopy to predict the K indexes -K232, K272, ΔΚ- and peroxide values of oil, therefore it can easily classify oil as extra virgin, virgin or lampante The device is using a D2 light source with emission spectrum 250-400 nm, a holographic concave grating with 430 grooves/mm and a 1024 pixel CMOS array sensor Spectra are comparable with a Schimadzureg UV-3600 UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer which has been used for calibration reasons Neat, filtered olive oil samples without any other treatment are placed in a flow cell 1 mm light path by using a peristaltic pump The recorded spectra and analytical data are processed with multivariate chemometric tools generating PLS models for prediction of each parameter
The new device is capable of measuring neat olive oil samples, without the use of solvents, rendering the method suitable for on-line utilization in olive oil mill during production and storage conditions The results can be monitored in real time or transferred into a central data base for analysis

Further development of the device can include the extension of its capabilities in the near infrared NIR regions so as to collect optical spectra fingerprints and chemical information concerning other olive oil quality parameters such as acidity, moisture and functional compounds such as phenolic compounds, fatty acids, tocopherols, chlorophylls and carotenoids Our device can be evolved into a portable versatile industrial product and its utilization can be extended not only to monitor other parameters of olive oil but also to other edible or non-edible oils, food products available as aqueous solutions wine, milk, tomato juice etc Solid food products can also be analyzed by NIR reflection spectroscopy and the extension of our device towards this direction is also desirable

You can find more information and how to contact us on our website http//probeoilinpdemokritosgr
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bull http//wwwinpdemokritosgr/web2/ DrGeorgios Stavropoulos , Senior Researcher, Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics, NCSR ldquoDEMOKRITOSrdquo
bull http//wwwchemuoagr/ Dr Gimisis Athanasios, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens
bull http//wwwaenaon-olive-oilgr Karoumpalis Dimitrios, President and CEO
bull http//wwwvectortechnologiesgr/ Koukas Georgios, VECTOR Technologies LTD, CEO
bull http//wwwrrpdemokritosgr/ms-dioxin Dr Leondios Leondiadis, Chemist PhD, Head of Mass Spectrometry and Dioxin Analysis Laboratory