Multianalyte analysis of volatile compounds in virgin olive oils using SPME-GC with FID or MS detection: results of an international interlaboratory validation

Diego L. García-González, Enrico Casadei, Ramón Aparicio-Ruiz, Clemente Ortiz Romero, Enrico Valli*, Paul Brereton, Anastasios Koidis, Martyna Korytkowska, Maurizio Servili, Roberto Selvaggini, Florence Lacoste, Julien Escobessa, Stefania Vichi, Beatriz Quintanilla-Casas, Alba Tres, Pierre Alain Golay, Paolo Lucci, Erica Moret, Alessandra Bendini, Tullia Gallina Toschi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The organoleptic assessment (Panel test) is the only procedure within the official methods for determining the quality of virgin olive oils that involves an expert panel. There is an urgent need for analytical methodology that can reliably measure volatile compounds in virgin olive oils that is capable of supporting and anticipating the official Panel test. For this reason, a new method based on solid-phase microextraction–gas chromatography with the choice of two possible detectors (FID or MS) was subjected to a large international interlaboratory validation study. The study involved a two-stage process: first, a pretrial phase in which 7 participants were exposed to the method for the first time to identify any initial problems with the methodology; then, a formal validation stage (trial proper), which involved 20 laboratories from Europe, USA, Japan and China. The performance of the different detectors was investigated. While both methods have advantages, the method using FID provided better results for 11 compounds, in terms of reproducibility, compared to MS. This information will allow to implement the method with accurate information of the method performance depending on the detector used. Practical applications: This study provides information from an interlaboratory validation of a method for measuring volatile compounds in virgin olive oils conducted with laboratories (from industry and academia) working in the olive oil sector. The information on the expected analytical errors in the determination of each volatile compound is necessary to apply this method for supporting the official Panel test (sensory analysis). The SPME-GC-MS/FID methods proposed in this work can be used for the internal quality control of a company/distributor/quality control laboratory and could also be used in cases of difficult/contradictory organoleptic assessment, or to confirm results from sensory panels in cases of disputes/disagreement (Reg. EU 2022/2105).

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300079
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Early online date05 Oct 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 05 Oct 2023


  • collaborative trial validation
  • sensory analysis
  • virgin olive oil
  • volatile compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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