Detection of hazelnut oil in virgin olive oil by assessment of free sterols and triacylglycerols

S Vichi, L Pizzale, E Toffano, R Bortolomeazzi, L Conte
Journal of AOAC International 2001, 84 (5): 1534-41
Free sterols were evaluated as factors for discriminating between genuine virgin olive oil and hazelnut-mixed virgin olive oil. Numeric analyses of the results amplified the differences between groups. The application of this method to virgin olive oil samples and their mixtures with 10% hazelnut oil distinguished between genuine and nongenuine virgin olive oil with statistical certainty. Triacylglycerol analysis was tested for the same purpose by using parameter deltaECN42, but although it possessed a discriminating capacity, it alone could not distinguish the aforementioned groups with sufficient certainty. Free delta7-sterols data were combined with deltaECN42 data into a single discriminating function to improve differentiation and bring more ruggedness, and for detection of low amounts (10%) of hazelnut oil in virgin olive oil. In fact, the values obtained by addition of delta7-sterol data and deltaECN42 data showed a higher discriminating capacity than single parameters. In a single operation the method produced all the oil fractions necessary for analysis of free sterols and triacylglycerols with ECN42. Solid-phase extraction was applied in substitution of traditional chromatography on a silica column.

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