Olive oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E, and other natural antioxidants that are the oil’s own natural preservatives. Antioxidants dampen the autogeneration of peroxides, delaying the onset of oxidation and rancidity. As a result, antioxidants increase the oil’s shelf life. Among the antioxidants, there are compounds that have been associated with human health benefits. They absorb free radicals and appear to have a positive impact on cardiovascular and cancer ailments, as attributed to the Mediterranean diet. The main objectives of this chapter were to investigate the phytochemical profile such as phenolic compounds and tocopherols, and in vitro, to study the biological potential (antioxidant capacity) of the olive oil. Furthermore, the relationship and correlations between phytochemical and antioxidant capacity have been highlighted. The investigation of these compounds supported by verifiable evidence may explain their role in the quality and authenticity of olive oil as well as their contribution to human health.
Part of the book: Technological Innovation in the Olive Oil Production Chain