Pigments, divided into carotenoids and chlorophyll derivatives, are responsible for the colour of extra‐virgin olive oil (EVOO). The concentration of pigments in EVOO depends on several factors, such as the maturity of olives before oil production, the cultivar and the geographic origin of olives. Pigments naturally degrade in olive oil (OO) during storage, and they may decompose due to light, temperature and oxygen exposure. The nature and concentration of pigments in EVOOs are different from seed oils, and this is a base of their use to reveal oil treatments and sophistication. In this chapter, the analytical methods, mainly chromatographic and spectroscopic, applied to identify and quantify pigments are overviewed. In particular, the applications of these methods to check the authenticity and the quality of extra‐virgin olive oil are discussed.
Part of the book: Products from Olive Tree