Extra virgin (EV) and ordinary (ON) olive oils: distinction and detection of adulteration (EV with ON) as determined by direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and chemometric approaches

Júnia de O Alves, Waldomiro B Neto, Hery Mitsutake, Paulo S P Alves, Rodinei Augusti
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry: RCM 2010 July 15, 24 (13): 1875-80
Extra virgin (EV), the finest and most expensive among all the olive oil grades, is often adulterated by the cheapest and lowest quality ordinary (ON) olive oil. A new methodology is described herein that provides a simple, rapid, and accurate way not only to detect such type of adulteration, but also to distinguish between these olive oil grades (EV and ON). This approach is based on the application of direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry in the positive ion mode, ESI(+)-MS, followed by the treatment of the MS data via exploratory statistical approaches, PCA (principal component analysis) and HCA (hierarchical clustering analysis). Ten distinct brands of each EV and ON olive oil, acquired at local stores, were analyzed by ESI(+)-MS and the results from HCA and PCA clearly indicated the formation of two distinct groups related to these two categories. For the adulteration study, one brand of each olive oil grade (EV and ON) was selected. The counterfeit samples (a total of 20) were then prepared by adding assorted proportions, from 1 to 20% w/w, with increments of 1% w/w, of the ON to the EV olive oil. The PCA and HCA methodologies, applied to the ESI(+)-MS data from the counterfeit (20) and authentic (10) EV samples, were able to readily detect adulteration, even at levels as low as 1% w/w.

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