Detection of not allowed food-coloring additives (copper chlorophyllin; copper-sulphate) in green table olives sold on the Italian market
Table olives are a common and well-known food in the whole Mediterranean area, produced and consumed in great quantities. Many deep-green olives can be found on sale in the South of Italy. Sometimes their unnatural color could be the result of the fraudulent addition of a coloring agent (E141ii, copper chlorophyllins) during the pickling process, in spite of the European Union legislation that does not allow the addition of any colorant to table olives. The objectives of this study were to detect fraudulent color adulteration of table olives with E141ii in Italian market and to confirm the presence on the market of artificially colored table olives. We assessed the presence of compounds with chromatographic and spectral characteristics similar to the ones from the E141ii (Cu chlorin e6, Cu isochlorin e4, Cu pyropheophorbide a) in 8 samples out of 16. These result show that the fraudulent addition of colorant to table olives is a quite common practice. More pressing controls and analysis are required to ensure the complete food safety and the compliance with the current law.
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