MALDI-TOF/MS fingerprinting of Triacylglycerols (TAGs) in olive oils produced in the Israeli Negev desert

Bishnu P. Chapagain, Zeev Wiesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Triacylglycerols (TAGs), composed of three esterified fatty acids with an attached glycerol backbone, are the main component of vegetable oil (∼95%) and an important source of energy and nutrition for humans, so their compositional analysis merits extensive interest. Intact TAG composition of oil in native form is highly important, rather than the fatty acid profile itself. This paper reports the analysis of the TAG profile of olive oils produced from the six common olive cultivars grown in the Negev desert of Israel (Barnea, Souri, Arbequina, Picual, Leccino, and Koroneiki) together with the content of some additional common oil quality parameters closely associated with TAG composition and integrity. Matrix-assisted laser ionization-desorption time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) fingerprintings were employed for TAG profiling. With 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), MALDI-TOF/MS was able to fingerprint the intact TAG profiles in olive oils in a fast and easy manner without any derivatization. Triolein (31.53%) was found to be the main intact TAG followed by dioleoyl-palmitoyl (23.06%) and dioleoyl-linoleoyl (14.31%). MALDI-TOF/MS also enabled calculation of the main fatty acids and their compositions in a simple manner from the TAG profiles; the results are found to be very similar to conventional methods determined by GC and HPLC. Average free fatty acids and peroxide value were found to be less than 0.8% and 10 mequiv of O2/kg of oil, respectively, in all of the tested oils. Relatively high levels of tocopherols (av = 325 μg/kg) and phytosterols (av = 2375 mg/kg) were found. This study demonstrates MALDI-TOF/MS technology as an easy and fast methodology for TAG and fatty acid profile analysis in olive oils. Additionally, this study also shows the high levels of tocopherols and phytosterols in the olive oils produced from the common cultivars grown in the Israeli Negev desert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1142
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2009


  • Fatty acids
  • Free fatty acids
  • Negev desert
  • Olive oil
  • Peroxide value
  • Phytosterols
  • Tocopherols
  • Triacylglycerols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)


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