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A Non-Targeted High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Study for Extra Virgin Olive Oil Adulteration with Soft Refined Oils: Preliminary Findings from Two Different Laboratories

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journal contribution
posted on 16.09.2020 by Daniele Cavanna, Kamila Hurkova, Zbyněk Džuman, Andrea Serani, Matteo Serani, Chiara Dall’Asta, Monika Tomaniova, Jana Hajslova, Michele Suman
This work presents a non-targeted high-resolution mass spectrometry inter-laboratory study for the detection of new chemical markers responsible of soft refined oils addition to extra virgin olive oils. Refined oils (soft deodorized and soft deacidified) were prepared on a laboratory scale starting from low-quality olive oils and analyzed together with a set of pure extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) samples and with mixtures of adulterated and pure EVOO at different percentages. The same analytical workflow was applied in two different laboratories equipped with two types of instrumentation (Q-Orbitrap and Q-TOF); a group of discriminant molecules was selected, and a tentative identification of compounds was also proposed. In summary, 12 molecules were identified as markers of this specific adulteration, and seven of them were selected as discriminative in both the laboratories, with a similar trend throughout the samples (i.e., propylene glycol 1 stearate). The results obtained in the two laboratories are comparable, concretely demonstrating the inter-laboratory repeatability of non-targeted studies. As a confirmation, the same markers were detected also in “in-house” mixtures and in suspect commercial deodorized mixtures, reinforcing the robustness of the results obtained and proving that, thanks to these molecules, mixtures containing at least 40% of adulterated oils can be detected.

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