ECN42

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Seed oils can also be detected by the difference of Equivalent Carbon Number (ECN) of the oil molecules determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and the theoretical ECN calculated from fatty acid content.

Trilinolein is a triglyceride molecule that is not naturally present in olive oil, but appears in seed oils especially in sunflower oil. HPLC is used to detect this molecule that has the configuration of 3 Linoleic fatty acids attached to glycerin (more double bonds); levels cannot exceed the percentages in each category. (AOCS 5b-89)

Determination of the absolute difference between the experimental values of triacylglycerols (TAGs) with equivalent carbon number 42 (ECN42HPLC) obtained by determination in the oil by high performance liquid chromatography and the theoretical value of TAGs with an equivalent carbon number of 42 (ECN 42theoretical) calculated from the fatty acid composition,

The content of triacylglycerols with ECN 42 determined by HPLC analysis and the theoretical content of triacylglycerols with ECN 42 (calculated on the basis of GLC determination of fatty acid composition) correspond within a certain limit for genuine olive oils. A difference larger than the values adopted for each type of oil points out that the oil contains seed oils.


Edible virgin olive oils≤0.2
Lampante virgin olive oil
≤0.3
Lampante virgin olive oil
≤0.3
Olive oil (ROO+ VOOs)
≤0.3
Crude olive pomace oil
≤0.6
Refined olive pomace oil
≤0.5
Olive pomace oil (ROPO+ VOOs)≤0.5


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