Extra virgin olive oil is an ingredient of high demand by everybody in the culinary industry. It is a valuable oil compared to other vegetable oils, due to its great health benefits and distinct, extraordinary taste. It is an expensive oil and often its adulteration with other cheaper oils, becomes a serious concern.
Lower grades of sunflower and corn oil are mixed with olive oil, flavoring it with beta carotene and sold as extra virgin olive oil, is a way to increase profits. Also lower grades of olive oil is mixed with higher grades of olive oil for the exact same economic reasons.
Unfortunately the producers are not required to verify the authenticity of the olive oil, so the analysis for detection of adulteration is reduced. The FDA due to lack of resources does not test all the imported olive oil for adulteration, so adulterated and mislabeled olive oil enters the world markets freely.
The analysis of vegetable oils is a reason for the consumer’s protection, but it is time consuming. Production is responsible for specific characteristics. The compositions of oils are based on the presence of fatty acids, the origin, weather conditions during growth and harvest of the olives, also the extraction methods of the olive oil.
The methods of excitation-emission fluorescence (EEF) and synchronous fluorescence (SF) spectroscopies are used for the determination of olive oil adulteration with sunflower and corn oils.
The last 10 years on one hand knowledge and technology has developed advanced methods against the adulteration of olive oil, but on the other hand defrauders have found ways to make adulterations more sophisticated, get ahead of the game, and many extra virgin olive oil impostors finding their way to our kitchens.
The origin of olive oil targets the proof of its authenticity, because it can trace back all the steps of its process. Because of the high demand for high quality extra virgin olive oil, specific characteristics are required to appear on the bottle, as place of origin, variety, composition quality due to a particular geographical area and methods of production.
Olive oils produced from different olive varieties, get a special flavor and aroma. Mono-varietal olive oils have specific characteristics.