The Color of Olive Oils: The Pigments and Their Likely Health Benefits and Visual and Instrumental Methods of Analysis

Authors

  • María José Moyano,

    1. Author Moyano is with Almazara Experimental del Instituto de la Grasa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 41012 Sevilla, Spain. Authors Heredia and Meléndez-Martínez are with Food Color & Quality Laboratory, Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, Univ. de Sevilla, Facultad de Farmacia, 41012 Sevilla, Spain. Direct inquiries to author Heredia (E-mail: heredia@us.es).
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  • Francisco J. Heredia,

    1. Author Moyano is with Almazara Experimental del Instituto de la Grasa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 41012 Sevilla, Spain. Authors Heredia and Meléndez-Martínez are with Food Color & Quality Laboratory, Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, Univ. de Sevilla, Facultad de Farmacia, 41012 Sevilla, Spain. Direct inquiries to author Heredia (E-mail: heredia@us.es).
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  • Antonio J. Meléndez-Martínez

    1. Author Moyano is with Almazara Experimental del Instituto de la Grasa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 41012 Sevilla, Spain. Authors Heredia and Meléndez-Martínez are with Food Color & Quality Laboratory, Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, Univ. de Sevilla, Facultad de Farmacia, 41012 Sevilla, Spain. Direct inquiries to author Heredia (E-mail: heredia@us.es).
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Abstract

ABSTRACT:  The color of olive oils, and of foods in general, can influence consumer choices to a large extent and can be related to the processing treatments they have undergone. Olive oil color is due to 2 types of pigments, chlorophylls and carotenoids, which are attracting the attention of the scientific community due to the probable health benefits they can provide. Appropriate methodologies for the meaningful definition of the color of olive oil are therefore necessary for various reasons. In this review, we discuss the importance of olive oil color and the applicable legislation and regulation, including sections devoted to the pigments accounting for the growing importance as likely health-promoting substances. Furthermore, we review in depth the different approaches (visual and instrumental methods) used for color measurements in the last 50 y. Instrumental methods have been shown to be highly appropriate for objective assessments and also for the rapid determination of the pigments.

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