Color of extra virgin olive oils enriched with carotenoids from microalgae: influence of ultraviolet exposure and heating




Extra virgin olive oil, Scenedesmus almeriensis, CIELAB system, Carotenoids


A carotenoid-rich extract containing 2.5 mg/mL of lutein and 3.3 mg/mL of β-carotene from the microalga Scenedesmus almeriensis was added to ten extra virgin olive oils from four Spanish cultivars with differing degrees of ripeness, obtaining carotenoid enriched oils with lutein and β-carotene concentrations of 0.082 and 0.11 mg/mL, respectively. Extra virgin olive oils enriched with carotenoids from microalgae were studied by analyzing the effect on color of three different treatments: ultraviolet exposure, microwave heating and immersion bath heating. The methodology was designed to simulate, in controlled laboratory conditions, the effects of household treatments. Spectrophotometric color measurements were then performed to monitor color changes in the enriched and non-enriched extra virgin olive oil samples. Enriched oils are much more chromatic, darker and redder than natural oils. After 55 days UV irradiation, 40 min microwave heating, and 72 hours thermostatic heating, the average color differences for natural/enriched extra virgin olive oils were 98/117, 15/9 and 57/28 CIELAB units, respectively. In general, increasing temperature and ultraviolet exposure produced higher CIELAB color differences in the non-enriched samples. The addition of microalga extracts to extra virgin olive oils was found to induce some color stability and may constitute a future way of increasing the daily intake of beneficial bioactive compounds such as carotenoids.


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How to Cite

Murillo M, García A, Lafarga T, Melgosa M, Bermejo R. Color of extra virgin olive oils enriched with carotenoids from microalgae: influence of ultraviolet exposure and heating. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2022Jun.13 [cited 2022Oct.5];73(2):e455. Available from:




Funding data

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Grant numbers PID2019-107816GB-I00

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