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Quality Control of Edible Oils

Bruker offers several methods for rapid quality control of edible oil. These solutions offer quick, cost-effective results you can trust.

Fats and oils are recognized as essential nutrients in the human diet, being consumed in a variety of forms. Different indicator parameters are used to assess the quality of edible fats and oils, including:

  • Iodine value (IV)
  • Free fatty acids (FFA)
  • Trans Fatty Acids (TFA)
  • Anisidine value (AV)
  • Fatty acid profile
  • various other parameters

The traditional analyses are generally carried out using standardized chemical and physical methods sanctioned by the American Oil Chemist Society (AOCS) and/or the association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC).

However, these methods are designed for analysis of only one specific parameter and tend to be tedious, time-consuming, expensive and often require hazardous solvents and reagents.
Edible oil producers and food processors are seeking fast and non-destructive way to analyze fats and oils for process and quality control purposes.

Advantages of NIR for the Edible Oil Analysis

FT-NIR spectroscopy, on the other hand, is fast (analysis time of the order of less than 1 minute) and can analyze multiple components with only one measurement. In addition, it is a non-destructive method without any sample preparation, and does not require the use of any solvents or reagents, which easily allows to perform real time measurement resulting in huge time and cost savings.

The technique is well recognized and AOCS method Cd1e-01 uses FT-NIR to measure Iodine Value (IV).

FT-NIR spectroscopy has the potential to substitute a wide range of classical analysis methods in the edible oil industry. Bruker Optics offers ready-to-use calibrations for edible fats and oils to enable a quick and efficient start.

Further Applications

Apart from analyzing edible oils and fats, FT-NIR has a huge potential in analysing oil seeds and residues for oil and moisture content in order to optimize pressing processes. Rape seed breeders can obtain valuable additional information like fatty acids, including Erucic acid as well as the Glucosinolate content.

Furthermore, Near Infrared spectroscopy is a fast and cost-effective method to assess the quality of deep-frying oil for its key parameters Total Polar Compounds (TPC) and Polymerized Triacylglycerols (TAG).

Oxidative Resistance Determination by ESR

Rancidity of edible oil is a major problem in food related industries. It occurs during storage and is caused by free radical oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, resulting in foul odors and tastes in the final product.

During the past two decades, the food industry has transitioned to the use of natural plant extract-based antioxidants in a variety of food products. The goal is to protect the shelf life of products from free radical oxidation without the use of traditional synthetic food additives. Many of the synthetic additives developed in the 1950s and 1960s are now known to have adverse health effects.

Recently, a new trend has emerged that combines culinary with science in what are referred to as “Innovation Kitchens”. Here, the combination of unique new recipes made with natural healthy ingredients are created by teams of scientists and culinary experts. One aspect of these Innovation Kitchens involves testing of new formulations and recipes to optimize their shelf life.

Many older test methods are still in use, but some of these require longer shelf life testing times, and hence, longer times to validate a new product for market. Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) provides a testing technique that measures free radicals formed during the oxidation of many materials including edible oils and edible oil containing food products. In many cases, the time to validate a new product’s ability to resist free radical oxidation is cut in half.

Bruker has developed a benchtop electron spin resonance instrument with automation and a software solution designed specifically for measuring free radical oxidation and shelf life in food products. The combined system and SOP provide an easy workflow for measuring oxidation profiles in food samples.