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Hydrophilic antioxidants of virgin olive oil. Part 1: Hydrophilic phenols: A key factor for virgin olive oil quality

El Riachy, Milad, Priego-Capote, Feliciano, León, Lorenzo, Rallo, Luis, Luque de Castro, María Dolores
European journal of lipid science and technology 2011 v.113 no.6 pp. 678-691
Olea europaea, absorption, antioxidants, capillary electrophoresis, chemical composition, flavonoids, fluorescence, lignans, liquid chromatography, phenolic acids, phenols, qualitative analysis, secoiridoids, sensory properties, tocopherols, vegetable oil, virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil (VOO) consumption is increasing all over the world due to its excellent organoleptic and nutraceutical properties. These beneficial traits stand from a prominent and well-balanced chemical composition, which is a blend of major (98% of total oil weight) and minor compounds including antioxidants. The main antioxidants are phenolic compounds, which can be divided into lipophilic and hydrophilic phenols. While lipophilic phenols such as tocopherols can be found in other vegetable oils, most hydrophilic phenols in olive oil are exclusive of the Olea europaea species endowing it with a chemotaxonomic interest. This review is focused on VOO antioxidant profile and, particularly, on hydrophilic phenols that are divided into different sub-families such as phenolic acids and alcohols, hydroxy-isochromans, flavonoids, secoiridoids, lignans and pigments. Analytical methods for qualitative and/or quantitative determination of these compounds are assessed. The implementation of efficient sample preparation protocols, separation techniques such as liquid chromatography, GC and capillary electrophoresis, as well as detection techniques such as ultraviolet absorption, fluorescence or MS are critical to succeed in the quality of the results. The effects of hydrophilic phenols on increasing VOO stability, its nutraceutical interest and organoleptic properties are also considered.