EVOO or not EVOO? A new precise and simple analytical tool to discriminate extra virgin olive oils
International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) states chemical and organolep- tic parameters to classify the commercial grade of olive oil. Finding tools or analytical procedures able to support the organoleptic evaluation would be helpful to streamline and facilitate the commercial classification. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a new tool and validate a procedure that allows a fast and non-invasive volatile compounds detection system, able to assign each sample to its right trade category. Moreover, we tried to test the capabili- ty of PTR-ToF-MS in grading olive oils according to their fruity intensity levels. A total of 273 olive oil samples collected from Argentina (21), Chile (10), Italy (191), Morocco (17), Tunisia (4) and EU (30) were analyzed and classified through: (1) Panel Test and (2) PTR-ToF-MS analysis. On the whole PTR-ToF-MS data EVOO and Not EVOO as resulted by Panel Test were clustered by PCA in two main groups and correctly classified by PLS-DA model, confirming the high confidence level (95%) in utilizing analytical spectral data for helping Panel Test and able to easy monitoring the quality formation in the oils, by a fast and cheap control from harvest until the store. The eight protonated masses detected as VIP by the model may be linked to negative olfactory notes. Finally, PCA applied on the volatile profile of 122 classified EVOO highlighted a shift of the samples distribution following the trend of the fruity intensity as assessed by the panelists. In conclusion, this trial confirmed the availability of a new, precise and simple analytical tool as the PTR-ToF-MS, which coupled with an appropriate multivariate data analysis, allows to classify EVOO according to their trade category and fruity intensity.
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