Characterization of olive oils in accordance with EEC Regulation No 2568/91 and subsequent amendments. Fully automated sample preparation and analysis
Current EU legislation provides for objective criteria aimed at classifying the various types of olive oils (virgin, lampante, refined, etc.).
These criteria are explained by the EEC regulation No. 2568/91, with reference to the latest revision of 20/10/2019.
Annexes II ÷ XX of the regulation define the analytical methods suitable for the parameters of interest; many of these methods involve laborious sample preparation that requires the use of large amount of solvents and consumables, as well as requiring the use of skilled operators for a long time.
The guiding principle of the SRA solution consists in the elimination of any off-line preparative techniques (LC, TLC, LLE), replaced by a separation of the fractions of interest conducted via HPLC.
Specifically, the careful optimization of the chromatographic parameters allows to make the elution times of the various classes (methyl/ethyl esters and waxes, in this case) extremely repeatable. The withdrawal of this fraction, and the subsequent injection in LVI-COC-FID, immediately provides the analytical data, limiting the operator’s intervention to simple starting of the analysis sequence.
The proposed solution allows to fully automate the sample prep procedure, with a consequent reduction in costs per sample in terms of lower consumption of solvent and accessory materials. Analysis times are significantly reduced, bringing operator intervention to almost zero. In addition, the very fact of operating automatically drastically lowers the incidence of random errors, ensuring precision, accuracy and robustness of the measurements over the long term.