Oil Digital Fingerprint…what is it?

It is one of the objectives of the Violin inter-university project, “Enhancement of Italian products derived from olive oil through innovative analytical techniques”, which studies the characteristics of Italian PDO oils. Researches found a way to map the oil fingerprint, which is composed by the volatile compounds of the oil, in particular the aroma compounds. These constitute a very important aspect because it concerns the sensory quality, the pleasantness to consumption that Italian oils have as a distinctive element of their high quality.

To this they associated artificial intelligence algorithms, which they used to collect the chemical fingerprints of the oils they analyzed to file them in a database that can be interrogated for various purposes, just like a database of real fingerprints. They used chemical fingerprinting techniques a multidimensional analytical approach, where they combined the separation of compounds with their unique identification.

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Thanks to fingerprints they could classify oils with more pronounced fruity notes, discriminating them from those with more “green and herbaceous” notes, or distinguish defective, rancid or winy oils, from sensorially “extra” oils, free from defects. Thanks to these results then, the quality of oil can be known from its “fingerprint”.

The result that has been achieved to date is that of a deeper and more accurate knowledge, in terms of chemical detail, of the composition of Italian extra virgin olive oil. This knowledge touches on aspects related to olive cultivars, that is, the different agricultural varieties. Italy is a country that uses several different cultivars. But there are also technological aspects related to the methods of oil extraction and production and compositional aspects concerning the main components, such as triglycerides, and secondary compounds, i.e. sterols and waxes, and the bio-active ones that today we define “nutraceuticals. ”, In the sense that they have positive effects on health – among these are polyphenols and their congeners.

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