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Traceability of Origin and Authenticity of Olive Oil by Combined Genomic and Metabolomic Approaches


Olive oils on the market are found with a broad price-range, which should reflect a higher or lower product quality. Product quality in the case of olive oil is mainly linked to its organoleptic properties and to its chemical composition (e.g. acidity determining whether oils are 'virgin' or 'extra-virgin'), while its market value is also affected by the country of production of both olives and oil.
This project forms part of a larger scale study in collaboration with 13 partners from the EU, and will apply molecular technologies based on genomics and metabolomics to the traceability and authenticity of olive oil produced and sold within the European Union.

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This project will use advanced molecular marker techniques for variety identification and discrimination and will specifically deliver a set of markers that can be used together (multiplexed), or in combination, in the commonly used high throughput genotyping platforms. These markers will be used to determine the genetic makeup of varieties entering olive oil production and their characteristic allele combinations that will be used as discriminatory tools for variety ID. <p>Finally, the presence of specific, diagnostic DNA fragments will be assessed with a range of marker systems by qualitative and quantitative methods in blended olive oil samples found in commerce or reconstructed in the laboratory starting from single-variety oil. Materials will comprise pure genetic stocks and plants as reference variety samples, including specimens from the EU and other olive producing countries (Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Australia, and New Zealand).
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="; target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.

National Institute of Agricultural Botany
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