Metabolic profiling using direct infusion electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry for the characterisation of olive oils

Analyst. 2002 Nov;127(11):1457-62. doi: 10.1039/b206037j.


There is a continuing need for improved methods for assessing the adulteration of foodstuffs. We report some highly encouraging data, where we have developed direct infusion electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) together with chemometrics as a novel, rapid (1 min per sample) and powerful technique to elucidate key metabolite differences in vegetable and nut oils. Principal components analysis of these ESI-MS spectra show that the reproducibility of this approach is high and that olive oil can be discriminated from oils which are commonly used as adulterants. These adulterants include refined hazelnut oil, which is particularly challenging given its chemical similarity to olive oils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods


  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils