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Oxidation Processes in Sicilian Olive Oils Investigated by a Combination of Optical and EPR Spectroscopy

Authors

  • Mariaelena Ricca,

    1. Authors Ricca, Foderà, Vetri, Montalbano, and Leone are with Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153 90146 Palermo, Italy. Authors Foderà, Vetri, Buscarino, and Leone are with Dipartimento di Fisica (DiFi), Via Archirafi 36 90123 Univ. di Palermo, Italy. Direct inquiries to author Foderà (E-mail: vf234@cam.ac.uk).
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  • Vito Foderà,

    1. Authors Ricca, Foderà, Vetri, Montalbano, and Leone are with Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153 90146 Palermo, Italy. Authors Foderà, Vetri, Buscarino, and Leone are with Dipartimento di Fisica (DiFi), Via Archirafi 36 90123 Univ. di Palermo, Italy. Direct inquiries to author Foderà (E-mail: vf234@cam.ac.uk).
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  • Valeria Vetri,

    1. Authors Ricca, Foderà, Vetri, Montalbano, and Leone are with Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153 90146 Palermo, Italy. Authors Foderà, Vetri, Buscarino, and Leone are with Dipartimento di Fisica (DiFi), Via Archirafi 36 90123 Univ. di Palermo, Italy. Direct inquiries to author Foderà (E-mail: vf234@cam.ac.uk).
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  • Gianpiero Buscarino,

    1. Authors Ricca, Foderà, Vetri, Montalbano, and Leone are with Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153 90146 Palermo, Italy. Authors Foderà, Vetri, Buscarino, and Leone are with Dipartimento di Fisica (DiFi), Via Archirafi 36 90123 Univ. di Palermo, Italy. Direct inquiries to author Foderà (E-mail: vf234@cam.ac.uk).
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  • Maria Montalbano,

    1. Authors Ricca, Foderà, Vetri, Montalbano, and Leone are with Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153 90146 Palermo, Italy. Authors Foderà, Vetri, Buscarino, and Leone are with Dipartimento di Fisica (DiFi), Via Archirafi 36 90123 Univ. di Palermo, Italy. Direct inquiries to author Foderà (E-mail: vf234@cam.ac.uk).
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  • Maurizio Leone

    1. Authors Ricca, Foderà, Vetri, Montalbano, and Leone are with Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153 90146 Palermo, Italy. Authors Foderà, Vetri, Buscarino, and Leone are with Dipartimento di Fisica (DiFi), Via Archirafi 36 90123 Univ. di Palermo, Italy. Direct inquiries to author Foderà (E-mail: vf234@cam.ac.uk).
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Abstract

Abstract:  Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is recognized as one of the healthiest foods for its high content of antioxidants, which forestall and slow down radical formation. Free radical-initiated oxidation is considered one of the main causes of rancidity in fats and oils. As a consequence, reliable protocols for the investigation of oil oxidation based on selective, noninvasive, and fast methods are highly desirable. Here we report an experimental approach based on UV-Vis absorbance, steady-state fluorescence, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy for studying oxidation processes induced by temperature for a period up to 35 d on Sicilian EVOO samples. We followed the decrease in β-carotene content during incubation time and observed changes in polyphenols and tocopherols during the oxidation processes, focusing on the time scale of those changes. Using EPR spectroscopy, the free radical formation in different oil samples is reported, providing a fingerprint for both the antioxidant content and temporal features of the oxidation process at its early stage.

Practical Application:  We monitor β-carotene and chlorophyll in an auto-oxidation process. A protocol based on spectroscopic measurements is presented and can be used for the quality control process of commercial olive oil.

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