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Keywords:

  • olive oil;
  • Bellier test;
  • Bellier reaction;
  • adulteration;
  • vegetable oils;
  • seed oils

Abstract

Virgin olive oil was mixed with eight vegetable oils (sunflower, soya bean, palm, linseed, cottonseed, corn, sesame, and olive residue) at various levels. The Bellier test was applied to find the minimum detectable adulteration level and the ‘sensitivity score’ for each oil. The test was inapplicable to sunflower and linseed oils regardless of the level in olive oil. It was successful in detecting olive residue, soya bean, palm, cottonseed, corn, and sesame oils at minimal levels of 730, 150, 130, 90, 60 and 10 g kg−1, respectively. The rancidity level of the adulterant oils did not affect the performance of the test in the case of sunflower, linseed and sesame oils. The sensitivity of the test decreased considerably with increasing peroxide value of the adulterant oil: soya bean, palm, cottonseed, corn and olive residue. However, the change in sensitivity level commenced at so high a peroxide value that it has no significance for practical purposes; at such levels of peroxidation the adulterated olive would be unmarketable and rejected by inspectors due to its poor sensory quality.