The presence of acrylamide was investigated in different presentations of commercial black ripe olives, a well-known sterilized alkali-treated product. The analysis was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after bromination of acrylamide, using (13C3)acrylamide as internal standard. In-house validation data for commercial ripe olives showed good precision and accuracy of the method, with repeatability below 3% and recoveries between 94 and 105%. Acrylamide was detected in all samples, but its concentration varied significantly from 176 to 1578 microg/kg of pulp. The effects of different processing conditions (two preservation methods and three darkening methods), cultivar (Hojiblanca or Manzanilla), and presentation form (pitted or sliced olives) on acrylamide content were evaluated in experiments performed in an olive-processing plant. All canned samples were sterilized at 121 degrees C for 30 min. Statistical analysis of the data indicated that the effects of darkening method and olive cultivar were the most pronounced. Acrylamide contents did not significantly differ after 6 months of storage. The small amounts of free amino acids and reducing sugars found in olives before sterilization did not significantly correlate with the acrylamide formed.