This work is about improvement of a maceration method in order to achieve a green process for the enrichment of virgin olive oil (VOO) with natural antioxidants, specifically from oregano leaves. This goal was accomplished after evaluating different mechanical methods, i.e. magnetic stirring, sonication, vertical stirring and sonication in combination with vertical stirring, for promoting the extraction of the antioxidants from oregano. The results obtained indicated that the best extraction procedure was vertical stirring at 1000 r.p.m. for 3 h. Therefore, these conditions were selected to enrich VOO with phenolic acids (mainly rosmarinic acid) and endogenous antioxidants (o-coumaric and vanillic acids), and further determine their stability at room temperature or under temperature stress (50°C) during 45 days. Quantitative analysis of rosmarinic, o-coumaric and vanillic acids was carried out by an off-line, solid phase extraction, capillary zone, electrophoresis method combined with diode-array detector (SPE-CE-DAD).
Keywords: Antioxidants; Capillary zone electrophoresis; Enrichment; Oregano; Phenolic acids; Virgin olive oil.
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