`Researchers Use Optical Spectroscopy to Classify Olive Oils

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Researchers Use Optical Spectroscopy to Classify Olive Oils

Dec. 4, 2015
Erin Ridley

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Andalucia’s AINIA Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter has cre­ated a new method for instantly and non-inva­sively clas­si­fy­ing olive oils. Using opti­cal spec­troscopy, or VIS/NIR, it can iden­tify whether an oil is extra vir­gin, vir­gin or lam­pante.

It does so via a test, which is com­pleted in just a few sec­onds, that can pro­vide a full spec­tral fin­ger­print of the oil, pro­duc­ing data on var­i­ous qual­ity indi­ca­tors, such as total acid­ity, per­ox­ide index, polyphe­nols, oxida­tive sta­bil­ity, and more.

Lorenzo Cervera, from AINIA’s Depart­ment of Instru­men­ta­tion and Automa­tion, explained to Olive Oil Times, It ana­lyzes the olive oil’s spec­tral fin­ger­print in the vis­i­ble and near-infrared (por­tion of the elec­tro­mag­netic spec­trum) since the oil absorbs the infrared light in a dif­fer­ent way based on its com­po­si­tion and qual­ity.”

Such test­ing can be com­pleted at var­i­ous con­trol points, allow­ing olive oil to be stored based on its dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics, thus main­tain­ing the oil’s qual­ity, iden­tity and trace­abil­ity. Ulti­mately, this will per­mit pro­duc­ers and labs to max­i­mize pro­duc­tion and leave less room for error and eco­nomic loss.

As for when the test­ing method will be avail­able for use, said Cervera, It still isn’t ready as a com­mer­cial prod­uct, but we are tak­ing the nec­es­sary steps so that it can reach the mar­ket.”

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The test­ing method was con­ceived of by AINIA as part of the Span­ish National Research Council’s (CSIC) Recu­pera 2020 project. AINIA is col­lab­o­rat­ing with almost 40 other inves­tiga­tive groups to develop tech­nol­ogy and inno­va­tion that ben­e­fits the Andalucia’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

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