Virgin olive oil quality is assessed by chemical as well as sensory analysis. Two of the most important parameters that define the quality of virgin olive oils are the free acidity and the peroxide index. These chemical parameters are usually determined by manual titration procedures that must be carried out in a laboratory by trained personnel. In this paper, a portable sensor system to support the quality grade assessment of virgin olive oil is presented. The system is battery operated and characterized by small dimensions, light weight and quick measurement response (about 30 s). The working principle is based on the measurement of the electrical conductance of an emulsion between a chemical reagent and the olive oil sample. Two different chemical reagents have been investigated: (1) a hydro-alcoholic solution (HAS), made of 60% ethanol and 40% distilled water; (2) 100% distilled water (DW). Tests have been carried out on a set of 40 olive oil samples. The results have shown how, for most of the fresh virgin olive oil samples (31 samples out of 40), the free acidity can be estimated with good accuracy from the electrical conductance of the emulsion using HAS as the reagent. In the case of the full set of samples, the emulsion electrical conductance, using HAS as the reagent, is a function of both the sample free acidity as well as the compounds produced by oil oxidation, and a compensation method based on the measured electrical conductance, using DW as the reagent, has been introduced to improve the accuracy in the estimated free acidity. Tests have also been carried out on the full set of samples, using a k-nearest neighbors algorithm, to demonstrate the feasibility of olive oil classification according to the quality grade. The results have shown how measurements carried out using only the HAS reagent provide better classification accuracy than measurements carried out using both the HAS and DW reagents. The proposed system can be a low-cost alternative to standard laboratory analyses to evaluate the quality grade of virgin olive oil.

A Portable Battery-Operated Sensor System for Simple and Rapid Assessment of Virgin Olive Oil Quality Grade

Grossi, Marco;Valli, Enrico;Bendini, Alessandra;Gallina Toschi, Tullia;Riccò, Bruno
2022

Abstract

Virgin olive oil quality is assessed by chemical as well as sensory analysis. Two of the most important parameters that define the quality of virgin olive oils are the free acidity and the peroxide index. These chemical parameters are usually determined by manual titration procedures that must be carried out in a laboratory by trained personnel. In this paper, a portable sensor system to support the quality grade assessment of virgin olive oil is presented. The system is battery operated and characterized by small dimensions, light weight and quick measurement response (about 30 s). The working principle is based on the measurement of the electrical conductance of an emulsion between a chemical reagent and the olive oil sample. Two different chemical reagents have been investigated: (1) a hydro-alcoholic solution (HAS), made of 60% ethanol and 40% distilled water; (2) 100% distilled water (DW). Tests have been carried out on a set of 40 olive oil samples. The results have shown how, for most of the fresh virgin olive oil samples (31 samples out of 40), the free acidity can be estimated with good accuracy from the electrical conductance of the emulsion using HAS as the reagent. In the case of the full set of samples, the emulsion electrical conductance, using HAS as the reagent, is a function of both the sample free acidity as well as the compounds produced by oil oxidation, and a compensation method based on the measured electrical conductance, using DW as the reagent, has been introduced to improve the accuracy in the estimated free acidity. Tests have also been carried out on the full set of samples, using a k-nearest neighbors algorithm, to demonstrate the feasibility of olive oil classification according to the quality grade. The results have shown how measurements carried out using only the HAS reagent provide better classification accuracy than measurements carried out using both the HAS and DW reagents. The proposed system can be a low-cost alternative to standard laboratory analyses to evaluate the quality grade of virgin olive oil.
Grossi, Marco; Valli, Enrico; Bendini, Alessandra; Gallina Toschi, Tullia; Riccò, Bruno
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/884355
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