A research team directed by a chemistry professor at the University of Córdoba (UCO), Miguel Valcarcel Cases, is studying an analytical technique to qualify extra virgin olive oil and prevent fraud.
The team from the International Agricultural Excellence Campus (CeiA3) said today in a statement that it has designed an evaluation model based on the technique of ion mobility spectrometry (EMI).
After two years of study, researchers say EMI offers an effective way to ensure that the analyzed juice meets the requirements to be considered and labelled as “extra virgin.”
The technique is presented as a possible system of screening, and could be easily used by the olive oil sector since it allows “fast and easy analysis” of oil samples, according to the researchers.
Professor Miguel Valcarcel explained that “EMI could be a technique with good aptitudes for the study of the quality of olive oil samples to avoid economic loss for producers and current fraud.”
Researchers said that due to complexity of the chemical composition of the different EVOO samples, they still must investigate further potentials of this technique to complete its power of classification and prediction with 100% certainty, so that its use is feasible in agrifood laboratories.
In any case, UCO researchers have highlighted the speed of the EMI tecnique, because in just 15 minutes it is possible to qualify any sample. Also, EMI does not require sample pretreatment, which further accelerates the process.