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A Critical Appraisal of the Separation Protocols Proposed for the Implementation of the Health Claim on “Olive Oil Polyphenols” (EC Regulation 432/2012)

European Union

Nov 14, 2022

The analysis of the secoiridoid type of phenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil has become a challenging area of research since the first evidence of their presence in the polar fraction of the oil. Separation techniques, mainly liquid chromatographic ones, prevailed over the years of application toward elucidation of their structure, content determination and collection of evidence on cultivar, origin, processing and storage conditions dependence. One of the latest challenges in their analysis was related to the need to address the requirement set by EC Regulation 432/2012 for the implementation of the health claim on ‘olive oil polyphenols’. The present work considers in a chronological order the original articles, viewpoints, review articles and other published efforts that appeared in the literature after the issuing of the relevant EFSA scientific opinion in 2011. The EFSA health claim created a lot of expectations among producers of virgin olive oil and boosted research for the development of a ‘fit for the purpose’ analytical protocol. Emphasis is given to the dedicated separation protocols that have been developed in the last 10 years and to the progress in their validation in comparison to the features of the method that were recently adopted by the International Olive Council.

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