Optical Spectroscopic Analysis for the Discrimination of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Naomi McReynolds, Juan M. Auñón Garcia, Zoe Guengerich, Terry K. Smith, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the ability to discriminate between five brands of commercially available extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) using Raman spectroscopy or fluorescence spectroscopy. Data was taken on both a 'bulk optics' free space system and on a compact handheld device, each capable of taking both Raman and fluorescence data. With the compact Raman device we achieved an average sensitivity and specificity of 98.4% and 99.6% for discrimination, respectively. Our approach illustrates that both Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy can be used for portable discrimination of EVOOs. This technique may enable detection of EVOO that has undergone counterfeiting or adulteration. The main challenge with this technique is that oxidation of EVOO causes a shift in the Raman signal over time. It would therefore be necessary to retrain the database regularly. We demonstrate preliminary data to address this issue, which may enable successful discrimination over time. We show that by discarding the first principal component, which contains information on the variations due to oxidation, we can improve discrimination efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1872-1882
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Spectroscopy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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