Solvent Residues in Unrefined Vegetable Oils
Residual solvent or intrinsically formed during production
Vegetable oils are an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet and have major economic significance. The type of production, whether performed by extraction with solvents, or by mechanical techniques, significantly influences the quality of the oil and its potential field of use. Occasionally, volatile organic substances, which are considered indicative for an oil that has been produced by solvent extraction, are detected in unrefined vegetable oils. This can have a negative impact on high-quality oil mills and their reputation. The goal of the study was to analyse unrefined oils of different raw materials for such compounds. A previously developed and validated method using headspace gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometry was used for this task. Another aim was to determine the origin of any solvent residues in the vegetable oils and to find ways to avoid them. Complementary measurements by solid phase micro extraction gas chromatography were conducted to compare the results of the measure- ments to an orthogonal methodology. Multivariate data analysis was used to find correlations between the spectrum of substances in the oil and other parameters like the producer of the oil or the pattern of fatty acids.