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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

Researchers study the use of forensic techniques to fight against virgin olive oil fraud

Researchers from Córdoba have successfully identified an unique genetic type in acebuchina olives Researchers from Córdoba have successfully identified an unique genetic type in acebuchina olives

ceiA3 researchers have developed a method based on the DNA amplification of 17 high quality oil varieties with the aim of traceing the real origin of olive oils

At the purest CSI style, researchers from the University of Cordoba and the Sustainable Agriculture Institute, both belonging to ceiA3, in collaboration with the Evolution and Biological Diversity laboratory of France, have designed a method based on forensic techniques to improve the original control of marketable olive oil, creating a new barrier against fraudulent blendings.

The scientific team composed by Prof. Gabriel Dorado, Prof. Margarita Pérez-Jiménez, Prof. Guillaume Besnard and Prof. Pilar Hernández, has successfully obtained the genetic footprint of 6 valid genetic types of 17 variety olives used in the elaboration of olive oils with high added value. This has been possible basing their previous sequencing studies on the genomic chloroplastos –  cellular organelles involved in photosynthesis – and locating a number of unique molecular markers for each genetic type.

The study carried out by ceiA3 has successfully found a particular genetic type that is only present in local wild olive oils, from wild olive and high organoleptic value. Existing chloroplastos genome sequences have led to the localization of specific and unique markers of each genetic type. The finding reveals that a concrete genetic type is found exclusively in local acebuchina oil, from wild and high organoleptic value olive trees.

Results of this research work have been published in one of the most relevant scientific journal, Plos One. This publication will help to design simple tests to know, in a rapid and efficient way, the products traceability, guarranteing their healthy properties, those which bring olive oil to be considered as a medicinal product by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States

Full article can be found in http://ww1902w.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0070507

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