U.S – Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) have taken a significant step in combating the alarming issue of avocado oil adulteration after revealing that nearly 70 percent of private-label avocado oils were either rancid or adulterated.

The team has now identified key markers that can help the retail food industry source authentic avocado oil products.

Avocado oil, a relatively new and increasingly popular product in the market, lacks established standards, leaving room for unethical practices and substandard products.

To address these concerns, UC Davis researchers conducted an in-depth study, analyzing 36 private-label avocado oil samples from major grocery retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

The researchers evaluated the samples for both purity and quality, focusing on specific markers to distinguish authentic avocado oil from adulterated or rancid products. Their findings lay the groundwork for a comprehensive quality assurance process to benefit both consumers and industry stakeholders.

To determine the authenticity of avocado oil, the researchers recommend a combination of markers and analyses. One crucial factor is the fatty acid profile, which can serve as a powerful indicator of purity.

Additionally, the sterol profile plays a significant role in differentiating genuine avocado oil from adulterants.

Triacylglycerols (TAGs) – a vital component

The presence of triacylglycerols (TAGs) in avocado oil serves as a key marker for quality assessment. By including TAGs analysis in their evaluation process, industry players can ensure that the oil meets the highest standards of authenticity.

To assess the quality of avocado oil, the researchers suggest using two essential markers: free fatty acidity (FFA) and ultraviolet (UV) absorbance. These measures aid in determining the freshness and purity of the oil, providing valuable insights into the overall product quality.

Detecting adulteration trends

Through their comprehensive analysis, the researchers have also identified trends in adulterated oils. For instance, elevated stearic acid, delta-7-stigmasterol, and delta-7-avenasterol levels indicate the potential adulteration with seed oils such as sunflower or safflower.

Armed with these crucial markers and analysis methods, the retail food industry can now make informed decisions when sourcing avocado oil products. Adopting a proactive approach to quality assurance will not only protect consumers but also bolster the reputation and credibility of retailers and suppliers alike.

Unified effort towards standards

The UC Davis researchers hope that their findings will drive the establishment of enforceable standards for avocado oil, benefiting both consumers and producers.

Collaborative efforts between industry leaders, researchers, and government agencies are essential in establishing a robust framework that ensures the authenticity and safety of avocado oil products.

As the retail food industry takes on these identified key markers, consumers can look forward to a brighter future, where they can confidently enjoy pure and high-quality avocado oil.

Through transparency and adherence to strict standards, the industry can safeguard the integrity of avocado oil, earning the trust and loyalty of consumers worldwide.

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