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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2002 Dec;374(7-8):1205-11. Epub 2002 Nov 6.

Application of headspace-mass spectrometry for differentiating sources of olive oil.

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  • 1Departamento de Química Analítica, Nutrición y Bromatología, Facultad de Química, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain.


In the present work we propose the use of headspace-mass spectrometry (HS-MS) for the characterisation of monovarietal olive oils, an issue of interest when the origin of an oil has to be determined. The HS-MS procedure involves the direct introduction of the sample into a vial, headspace generation and automatic injection of the volatiles into a mass spectrometer. The results were compared with those obtained using more conventional approaches, including chromatographic, spectrophotometric and other types of analysis. Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) was applied to the data obtained with both analytical methodologies to achieve the differentiation of the three types of samples. The proposed method is faster and cheaper than those usually employed for edible oil analysis and no sample preparation is required. Additionally, the measuring process is simple and the results obtained from chemometric treatment are 100% correct as regards classification and prediction, making it an appropriate method for routine control.

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