Authentication and traceability of extra virgin olive oil is a challenging research task due to the complexity of fraudulent practices. Various chemical and biochemical techniques have been developed for determining the authenticity of olive oil and in recent years non-conventional methods based on DNA analysis have gained attention, due to high specificity, sensitivity and reliability. DNA analyses have very high discriminating power because ultimately the unique identity of a variety or species is to a great extent genetically dependent. Polymorphisms are genetic variations which refer to the variation in populations or species. Molecular markers provide information on genetic variations and are valuable tools to determine olive oil authenticity. Recently several DNA-based methods have been developed to authenticate olive oil, since analysis of the residual oil DNA with the use of molecular markers can lead to the identification of the variety or the plant species from which it was extracted. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the current trends and critical issues on DNA-targeted approaches used for traceability and authenticity of olive oil. This is considered a rapidly expanding field with significant challenges and prospects which shall be discussed thoroughly.
Part of the book: Products from Olive Tree