Adulteration of olive oil with lower cost and poorer quality oils is a known problem. This is a challenge for other techniques, such as FTIR, as the olive oil and hazelnut oil spectra are extremely similar. However, their NMR spectra show sufficient differences to allow better levels of detection of the adulterant.
An article in Trends in Analytical Chemistry (TrAC, published by Elsevier), co-authored by the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK, showed that Pulsar performs at least as well as FTIR for oil analysis. The results show that using chemometrics, hazelnut-oil adulteration of olive oil can be detected at 11.2%w/w. To download the “open access” paper, follow the link: 60 MHz 1H NMR spectroscopy for the analysis of edible oils
Since this paper was published, X-Pulse has replaced the Pulsar system.
Calculated mono- and poly-unsaturated composition of a set of 30 pure olive and hazelnut oils from Pulsar NMR spectraFor more information