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On the role of squalene in olive oil stability

Psomiadou, E., Tsimidou, M.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1999 v.47 no.10 pp. 4025-4032
olive oil, sunflower oil, oxidation, squalene, peroxide value, alpha-tocopherol, caffeic acid, heat treatment, free radicals, hydrazines, long chain fatty acids, triacylglycerols, lard
The role of squalene in olive oil stability was studied for various concentrations and experimental conditions. No effect was found in induction periods of olive oil at elevated temperatures using the Rancimat apparatus. Samples were then stored at 40 and 62 degrees C in the dark, and the extent of oxidation was followed by periodic measurements of peroxide value and conjugated dienes. A concentration dependent moderate antioxidant activity was evidenced which was stronger in the case of olive oil compared to that found for sunflower oil and lard. In the presence of alpha-tocopherol (100 mg/kg) and caffeic acid (10 mg/kg) the contribution of squalene (7000 mg/kg) was not significant. No radical scavenging activity was observed using DPPH in 2-propanol. The weak antioxidant activity of squalene in olive oil may be explained by competitive oxidation of the different lipids present which leads to a reduction of the oxidation rate. Squalene plays a rather confined role in olive oil stability even at low temperatures.