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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6740-4. doi: 10.1021/jf801131b. Epub 2008 Jul 22.

Alkyl esters of fatty acids a useful tool to detect soft deodorized olive oils.

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Instituto de la Grasa (C.S.I.C.), Avda. Padre García Tejero, 4, E-41012, Seville, Spain.


Fatty acid alkyl esters (FAAEs) are a family of natural neutral lipids present in olive oils and formed by esterification of free fatty acids (FFAs) with low molecular alcohols. Inappropriate practices during the olive oil extraction process and bad quality of the olive fruits promote their formation. Quantification can be done by isolation with a silica gel solid phase extraction cartridge followed by analysis on a gas chromatograph equipped with a programmed temperature vaporizer injector using a polar capillary column. The application of the method to more than 100 Spanish olive oils from different categories, varieties, and geographical origin allowed for establishing the average content of FAAEs and distinguishing the Spanish protected denomination of origin (PDO) and extra virgin olive oils from other categories of olive oils. Those other categories of oils can be subjected to a mild refining process, which leads to blending with extra virgin olive oils. Studies on low quality oils subjected to mild refining showed that FAAEs remain after that process. Thereby, blends of extra virgin olive and mildly refined low quality olive oils can be detected by their alkyl ester concentrations.

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