The high price, the distinctive sensory profile, the processes for its production, and reputation as one of the healthier source of dietary fats, make olive oil a food product with a high added value, thus particularly attractive for the consumers but, at the same time, a possible target for counterfeiters. Despite the presence of well-working and widespread analytical methods to ensure the olive oil authenticity, there is a need for specific improvements and for the set up of reliable, easy-to-use, and cheap methods for detecting olive oil fraud.
Partners in the OLEUM project have joined forces to empower the detection of olive oil fraud in three ways: validation of new and/or improved analytical methods, establishment of an OLEUM Databank and formation of an OLEUM Network that brings together stakeholders involved in the olive oil sector. In addition, OLEUM aims to support policy makers to improve regulatory standards and develop a communication strategy to explain the extraordinary research around olive oil authentication.
OLEUM partners are revising existing analytical methods to ensure the quality and authenticity of olive oil by improving performance and efficiency parameters such as sensitivity, reproducibility, cost and time. Researchers also are working for identifying novel analytical markers for detecting illegal blends and compliance with geographical origin,olive oil freshness, as well as its content in healthy phenolic compounds.
Their findings on new and improved analytical methods will be discussed and tested within the OLEUM Network, used in trainings and used to fill and update the OLEUM Databank.
The OLEUM Network aims to increase collaborations, exchange knowledge, enhance and harmonize the global expertise on olive oil analyses. The OLEUM Network is open to all interested stakeholders such as public sector, private laboratories, companies and consumers worldwide, through two different platforms each with a specific purpose. The broader public can easily learn more about olive oil by joining OLEUM on LinkedIN . If you are an expert and like to receive trainings and/or discuss and test analytical methods you can apply to join the Basecamp group.
The OLEUM Databank is an online database of analytical methods, data, and calibration materials related to the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive oil. The OLEUM Databank will be launched very soon.
For more information and to be updated of the latest OLEUM activities visit OLEUM website and subscribe to the newsletter available in six languages.
OLEUM an EU funded initiative
For whom: All stakeholders in the olive oil supply chain: traders, experts, laboratories, consumers
Objective: Better guarantee olive oil quality and authenticity by empowering the detection and thereby fostering the prevention of olive oil fraud.
Reason: Improvements in the quality, safety and authenticity of olive oils will boost consumer confidence and ultimately enhance the competitiveness of the olive oil market.
How: Developing advanced solutions, analytical tools and networking actions that will enhance knowledge and assure the authenticity and quality of olive oils at a global scale: 1) validate new and/or improved analytical methods, 2) establish the OLEUM Databank and 3) establish the OLEUM Network for stakeholders.
Areas of interest: Food fraud, authenticity, food safety analyses, sensory and instrunemal analyses.
When: From 2016 to 2020.
Funded by: European Union, with grant agreement number 635690.
Partners: Twenty partners including universities, research centers, laboratories, private companies, non-profit EU wide network organizations.
Coordination: Tullia Gallina Toschi, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Italy.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via the form below.
Gallina Toschi T., Valli E., Conte L., García-Gonzáles D. L., Maquet A., Brereton P., Mcgrath N., Celemín L. F., Bendini A. 2017. EU project OLEUM: Better solutions to protect olive oil quality and authenticity. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, vol. 28 (5), pp. 2-3, https://zenodo.org/record/1184863#.WsccF5e-lPY
Tsimidou M. Z., Nenadis N., Servili M., García-Gonzáles D. L., Gallina Toschi T. 2018. Why tyrosol derivatives have to be quantified in the calculation of “olive oil polyphenols” content to support the health claim provisioned in the EC Reg. 432/2012. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201800098.
Nenadis N., Mastralexi A., Tsimidou M.Z., Vichi S., Quintanilla-Casas B., Donarski J., Bailey-Horne V., Butinar B., Miklavcic M., García González D.-L., Gallina Toschi T. 2018. Toward a Harmonized and Standardized Protocol for the Determination of Total Hydroxytyrosol and Tyrosol Content in Virgin Olive Oil (VOO). Extraction Solvent. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201800099 http://www.eufic.org/en/collaboration/article/eu-project-oleum-assuring-the-quality-and-authenticity-of-olive-oil
This article was developed in the context of the project OLEUM “Advanced solutions for assuring authenticity and quality of olive oil at global scale“ funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 Programme (2014–2020, grant agreement no. 635690). The information and views set out in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.