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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Aug;51(7):678-90. doi: 10.1080/10408391003768199.

Chlorophylls in olive and in olive oil: chemistry and occurrences.

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Dottorato in Scienze, Università G. d'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini 31, I-66013, Chieti, CH, Italy.


The chlorophylls are responsible for the characteristic green color of the olive fruits and their products. Virgin olive oil (VOO) is obtained from processing olives only by mechanical and physical means under conditions ensuring that the natural characteristics of the fruit composition are maintained as far as possible. In terms of the total chlorophyll content of oil, the extraction process entails a loss of chlorophyll of up to 80%. Many factors, both agronomical and technological, can affect the presence of green pigments in VOO. The analysis of green pigments in olives and/or oil requires an initial phase of extraction of these compounds from the solid and fluid matrix, followed by the selective separation and subsequent identification of the different components of the chlorophyll fraction. The aim of this review article is to summarize and critically analyze the available information about chlorophylls in VOO.

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