New OLEUM publication in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology

OLEUM researchers have published a new scientific paper. 

The viewpoint is the outcome of the scientific expertise of the scientists that sign it and work collaboratively in the frame of the OLEUM project. The consensus among scientists, the European food authorities, IOC, and the olive industry on which compounds should be determined to support the health claim on olive oil polyphenols (EC Reg. 432/2012) is of utmost importance and can be supported by the evidence provided in this viewpoint article.

Tsimidou M. Z., Nenadis N., Servili M., García-Gonzáles D. L., Gallina Toschi T. 2018. Why tyrosol derivatives have to be quantified in the calculation of “olive oil polyphenols” content to support the health claim provisioned in the EC Reg. 432/2012. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201800098.

New OLEUM publication in Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech

OLEUM researchers have published a new paper in Agro Food Industry Hi Tech. The article introduces the European Union Horizon 2020 funded project OLEUM which aims to better guarantee olive oil quality and authenticity through improved methods for detecting and preventing olive oil fraud.

Gallina Toschi T., Valli E., Conte L., García-Gonzáles D. L., Maquet A., Brereton P., Mcgrath N., Celemín L.F., Bendini A. EU project OLEUM: Better solutions to protect olive oil quality and authenticity, Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, 28 (5), 2-3 (2017).

List of existing databases on olives and olive oils

One objective of the OLEUM project is to establish an open access databank to store not only the information generated by the OLEUM consortium but also to be interoperable with already existing databases related to the characterisation of the olive tree germplasm and olive oils.

This report specifically summarises information on existing databases related to Olea europaea mainly curated in Europe but also in other part of the world. Information was gathered via the partners of the OLEUM consortium as well as available publications and internet consultations.

A total of 15 databases have been identified, of which 10 are web-based and currently accessible. However, an accessible database does not mean that necessarily the available information can be partially or entirely re-used in another database; reason why it is essential to contact each curator as a second step.

In order to identify an unknown monovarietal virgin olive oil cultivar, several reference databases have been established providing morphologic, DNA molecular markers and/or chemical data of worldwide olive trees and oils. The olive cultivar identification and olive oil authentication are especially important for protection of certified brands such as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

Apparently, there is no database centralising the passport data of all the olive accessions distributed in the existing germplasm banks of olive. However, considering the information gathered, it seems that a significant percentage of the olive germplasm is conserved in the European germplasm banks; the two most important ones being the Worldwide Olive Germplasm bank of Cordoba and the CRAOLI collection, for which elaiographic cards are also available. These cards include morphological and agronomical data as well as a variety of molecular and chemical descriptors. A huge amount of work has been carried out in the past two decades to characterise cultivars by molecular markers, however results are disseminated in several databases or scientific publications.

Several databases are storing data on chemical composition of olive oils from conventional chemical analyses; e.g. fatty acids, triglycerides, organoleptic oil values. Only one database (i.e. Italian National Database of PDO/PGI Extra Virgin Olive Oils) is maintaining data from isotopic measurements as well as from a metabolomics approach.

By sharing or even integrating olive databases in the sense of the data FAIR principles recommended by the Horizon 2020 framework, it is expected to provide proper references to data, to allow them to be reused, to increase their reproducibility and to promote collaborations. Several technical platforms, portals and tools currently available for achieving such data management are discussed in the deliverable. Further tasks are also described for collaborating and exchanging data with curators of identified databases and to explore not yet listed databases.

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Developing the OLEUM visual identity and website

This report summarises the development of the project’s visual identity and graphic charter, including the logo and communication templates. These will ensure a common
graphic/visual line to be easily recognised among external stakeholders. It also describes the development of the OLEUM website. The public facing website will be a portal for dissemination information about the project to a wide range of audiences.

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Protocol for the production and homogeneity assessment of olive oil test materials

During the OLEUM project, different partners will be carrying out analysis of various blends of extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) with soft-deodorised olive oils (sdOOs) and blends of EVOOs or olive oils (OOs) with other vegetable oils. Interlaboratory comparisons of the results will establish the extent to which different laboratories can detect the same adulterations by applying the same methods.

A successful interlaboratory comparison depends on the production of the test materials, namely the exchanged samples. Test material production and characterisation (homogeneity testing) will rely on the established experience of Fera’s proficiency testing group, who routinely carry out interlaboratory tests for food quality parameters.

This document is a protocol for the production and homogeneity assessment of test materials as oils blended at different proportions.

To read the full report, click here.