Lipidomics of wine and olive oil: recent contributions towards a new vision over their minor lipids with importance on human health, food quality, authenticity and sensory analysis

Eliana Alves

Mass Spectrometry Centre, Department of Chemistry & QOPNA & LAQV-REQUIMTE, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal;

The Mediterranean Diet is a worldwide reference dietary pattern. In this diet, experts recommend moderate consumption of wine and olive oil, the latter being the main source of fat. In these two so distinct matrices, there is a wide variety of lipids. While in grapes, lipids are important players in the fermentation process, in olives they are the main constituents and their functions are not yet fully known. Wine and olive oil contain minor bioactive lipids that have been little explored. In recent years, minor or unusual lipids from grapes1, wine2, olives3 and olive oil4 have been investigated more deeply, using sensitive and robust analytical tools based on lipidomics that rely on high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry. As a consequence, unusual fatty acids, oxylipins and various classes of polar lipids have been revealed. Many of these compounds have biological significance and derive from enzymatic or oxidative processes, from the fermentation process in the case of wine, or from the fruit’s microbiome. With a new recognition of the importance of lipids in wine5 and olive oil6, brought about by lipidomics, it will be possible to evaluate the impact of these compounds on human health, the quality of these foodstuff, particularly their stability and sensory perception, as well as their molecular identity and traceability. Further comprehensive lipidome profiling is needed to accomplish these goals.


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  3. Alves, E., Melo, T., Barros, M.P., Domingues, M.R.M., Domingues, P. (2019). Molecules, 24(14), 2555.
  4. Alves, E., Melo, T., Rey, F., Moreira, A.S.P., Domingues, P., Domingues, M.R.M. (2016) LWT – Food Science and Technology, 74, 371.
  5. Tesnière, C. (2019) Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 103, 8293.
  6. Alves, E., Domingues, M.R.M., & Domingues, P. (2018). Foods, 7(7), 109.


Thanks are due to the University of Aveiro, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal) and Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia (MCT) for the financial support for the QOPNA research unit (FCT UID/QUI/00062/2019) through national funds and, where applicable, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), within the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement, and to the Portuguese Mass Spectrometry Network (RNEM, LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-402-022125). This work was also funded by national funds, through FCT, in the scope of the Individual Call to Scientific Employment Stimulus 2017 with a Junior Researcher contract (reference CEECIND/00971/2017).