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Olive Oil Oxidation

  • Maria T. Morales
  • Roman Przybylski
Chapter

Abstract

Lipid oxidation has been recognized as the major problem affecting edible oils, as it is the cause of important deteriorative changes in their chemical, sensory, and nutritional properties. Autoxidation and photooxygenation, which are due to the presence of oxygen in air, are virtually inevitable. As lipids oxidize, they may form hydroperoxides, which are susceptible to further oxidation or decomposition into secondary reaction products such as aldehydes, ketones, acids, and alcohols. In many cases, these compounds adversely affect flavor, aroma, taste, nutritional value, and overall quality. Many catalytic systems can oxidize lipids. Most of these reactions involve some type of free radical or oxygen species. The oxidation may be produced either in the dark or in the presence of light, which have differences in their oxidation pathway due to the action of external variables.

Virgin olive oil is considered to be resistant to oxidative degradation due to a low content of saturated fatty acids, a high monounsaturated-to-polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio, and the presence of natural antioxidant minor components such as α-tocopherol and phenolic compounds. Nevertheless, oxidative degradation in olive oil is the most important cause of an unfavorable sensory perception. This chapter revises the oxidative deterioration of olive oil considering enzymatic oxidative deterioration, autoxidation, and photosensitized oxidation. The role of primary and secondary oxidation products and the effect of minor components during oil oxidation are also discussed.

Deep-fat frying is one of the oldest and most popular food preparation methods. Complex reactions happen during deep-fat frying, generating the formation of pleasant or unfavorable flavors and affecting the color, texture, and nutritional value of the fried foods. A revision of this aspect is reported in the chapter, which also describes the different processes and components formed.

The chapter describes the different analytical methods developed to measure the extent of oxidation by means of the quantification of the products formed or involved in this deteriorating process. The chapter also reviews the changes in the chemical compounds responsible for virgin olive oil flavor and the formation of off-flavors produced through oxidative pathways and discusses the sensory characterization of the volatile compounds responsible for off-flavors. Finally, the analysis of oxidation secondary products in olive oil is carried out using different kinds of sensors, usually disposed as a sensor array, which are connected to a pattern recognition procedure to discriminate between high-quality and oxidized/rancid oils.

Keywords

Volatile Compound Peroxide Value Photosensitize Oxidation Anisidine Value Thermooxidative Degradation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Analytical ChemistryUniversity of SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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