Peroxides are products generated from the breakdown of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the oil. They build up slowly over time contributing towards oil rancidity, resulting in undesirable flavours and odours. Their identification provides useful information about oil conservation and rancidity. Along with other measurements of free fatty acids (FFA) and UV absorption this information is used to determine the use and purity of the oil (i.e. virgin olive oil, blended or refined).
Below is a general overview of the relative level of Peroxide Values (PV) in oil and its likely condition:
- <10 meq O2/kg = excellent conservation
- 10-15 meq O2/kg = good conservation
- <10 meq O2/kg = refined oil
- >20 meq O2/kg = rancid oil
This photometer consists of an auto-diagnostic portable microprocessor meter with an advanced optical system (based on a special tungsten lamp and a narrow band interference filter) which allows accurate and repeatable readings from 0.0 to 25.0 meq O2/kg.