• olive drupes;
  • sugar cesium adducts;
  • olive ripening test;
  • tandem mass spectrometry

Identification and assay of sugars in olive drupes during their ripening phase is evaluated by tandem mass spectrometry. Recent achievements have shown that the quality of an extra virgin olive oil can be directly correlated to the ripening degree of the drupes that is likely linked to their saccharides content. An innovation in this peculiar food chain is now proposed that considers a high throughput assessment of the carbohydrate content by a recently introduced protocol based on the gas-phase chemistry of sugar-cesium adducts by ESI-MS/MS. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.