This project is a collaborative study which is 50% funded by the Agency under the EU FW5 program (dedicated call "Development and validation of methods of analysis for the determination of hazelnut oil in olive oil (Topic II.13)"). The three-year project has 14 EU partners and aims to provide reliable methods to enable regulatory agencies to monitor compliance with olive oil standards. It directly addresses major regulatory concerns of adulteration of virgin and olive oil with hazelnut oil. At present no official methods can detect this fraud.
Characterised olive/hazelnut oil mixtures will be analysed by a suite of state-of-the-art spectrometric and separatory techniques to produce candidate procedures to be validated in the final year. Deliverables include training courses and databases with information on the characterised oils together with validated procedures suitable for adoption by the IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) and European Commission. CSL will be directly involved in developing chromatographic methods for filbertone and isotopic methods using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Gas Chromatogaphy Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS). In addition CSL will peer test other chromatographic methods and is responsible for the validation of the resulting candidate methods. CSL are also part of the Scientific Committee overseeing the project.
<ol><li> Detect the presence of raw hazelnut oil in samples of virgin olive oils of different varieties or different geographical origin by quantifying volatile compounds.
Detect the presence of refined hazelnut oil in olive oil samples by isotopic methods.
Assess the potential of site-specific D/H, Carbon 13 NMR and Hydrogen NMR measurements-peer testing.
Detect filbertone in refined hazelnut oils by purge & trap concentration and separation by gas chromatography using polar phase columns.
Assess diverse chromatographic procedures to detect adulteration of olive oil with refined hazelnut oils at addition levels below 15%.
Calibrate and validate methodologies.</ul>
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.