Using DNA to determine olive oil authenticity and quality

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In order to collect rests of DNA dissolved in the water contained in virgin olive oil, the scientific group of experts used a forensics technique called the ‘droplet digital-PCR.’ That technique allows amplification and quantification of DNA, even in tough-to-analyze elements such as virgin olive oil and eventually allows researchers to gather relevant data.

The aim of the scientific team’s efforts was to promote certification of quality, origin, traceability and fraud identification. Those elements have proven to be crucial in the global olive oil market.

Better DNA quantification leads to greater control over olive oil quality and origin. “The goal is to develop a traceability method which will allow us to determine if monovarietal-branded olive oil bottles contain oils from other varieties, or worse, from other species such as sunflower, peanut, or almond,” Dorado Pérez noted.

DNA from other sources present different genetical characteristics; that is used to certify olive oil quality or on the contrary to unveil fraud.

Indeed, frauds in the global olive oil market greatly impacts growers, producers and marketers. The news of the group of scientists’ accomplishment has been received with enthusiasm among many in the sector.


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