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Fast and Accurate Determination of Olive Oil Acidity by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

Abstract : Virgin olive oil is an important ingredient of the Mediterranean diet highly appreciated for its beneficial health effects due to the presence of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant properties. The olive oil quality is defined by many parameters , among which acidity and peroxide index and according to international regulations , these two determinations are carried out in laboratory environment , by means of manual titration. This kind of method , however , cannot be used on oil production sites , where , instead , it would be desirable to know the main characteristics of the oil for proper product classification. In this paper , a new technique to measure olive oil acidity by electrical conductance is presented that allows for fast , cost-effective , and on-site measurements. Such a technique has been validated with a set of 55 olive oil samples. Two different oil emulsions have been used and compared for the measurements : based on a hydro-alcoholic solution (60% ethanol 40% distilled water) and distilled water , respectively. The data show that the electrical conductance of the emulsion with hydro-alcoholic solution is a strong function of the olive oil acidity , that can be estimated with good accuracy (R 2 = 0. 9308). The experiments with distilled water , instead , exhibit no significant correlation between oil acidity and emulsion conductance that , however , is found to provide information about peroxide index , polyphenols content , and filtration technique. Furthermore , using both types of emulsions to compensate for conductance variations other than free fatty acids the accuracy in acidity determination can be improved reaching R 2 = 0. 9786 .
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Marco Grossi, Giuseppe Di Lecce, Tullia Gallina Toschi, Bruno Riccò. Fast and Accurate Determination of Olive Oil Acidity by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. IEEE Sensors Journal, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2014, 14 (9), pp.2947-2954. ⟨10.1109/JSEN.2014.2321323⟩. ⟨hal-01276347⟩

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