J. Cosmet. Sci., 64, 371–380 (September/October 2013) 371 Sensory characterization of virgin olive oil–based cosmetic creams MARIA EMMA PARENTE, ADRIANA GÁMBARO, LUCIA BOINBASER, and ANTONELLA ROASCIO, Cátedra de Química Cosmética and Sección Evaluación Sensorial, Universidad de la República, 11800, Montevideo, Uruguay. Accepted for publication July 11, 2013 Synopsis The infl uence of olive oil concentration and sensory profi le on the odor of virgin olive oil-based cosmetic creams was studied. Four olive oils were selected on the basis of different intensities of positive and defective odor attributes: two extra virgin olive oils, one virgin olive oil, and one ordinary virgin olive oil. Thirty cos- metic creams were prepared, by both cold and hot processing methods, using each of the above oils at con- centrations of 3%, 5%, and 10%, in addition to mineral oil controls. A trained sensory panel evaluated the fruitiness and defectiveness intensities in the odor of creams, using unstructured 10-cm scales ranging from “none at all” to “much.” The fruity and defective attributes perceived in the odor of creams were signifi cantly infl uenced by the sensory profi le of the starting olive oil, oil concentration, and preparation method. Overall, these fi ndings suggest that virgin olive oils of only slightly fruity odor may be conveniently used for the preparation of cold-processed cosmetic creams, whereas ordinary virgin olive oils appear to be suitable for the preparation of cosmetic creams only by hot processing of the emulsion at a low oil concentration. INTRODUCTION Natural oils were used by ancient civilizations for cosmetic purposes, as well as to mask unpleasant body odors. Attributed to Galeno (~100–200 BC), the fi rst recorded cosmetic emulsion (Ceratum refrigerans, the ancestor of today’s cold cream), was made with olive and almond oils, beeswax, and rosewater (1). Lipids act as emollients (fr. Lmolle: soft, smooth). Having the capacity of replacing natural skin lipids, emollients contribute to the retention of water at the stratum corneum and assist in the cellular renewal process, providing a soft, elastic, lubricated condition associ- ated with skin well-being. The activity of emollients has been ascribed to their ability to remain on the skin surface over prolonged time periods (2–5). Naturally occurring substances, including natural feedstock and secondary products de- rived from the processing of foodstuffs, are highly valued in the cosmetic industry on Address all correspondence to María Emma Parente at mepr@adinet.com.uy.
JOURNAL OF COSMETIC SCIENCE 372 account of their associated skin and hair replenishing properties (6). Virgin olive oil is suitable for topical therapeutic and cosmetic use due to its high oleic acid and squalene contents and the presence of antioxidant species, making it especially suitable for skin care applications (7). Monographs on virgin and refi ned olive oil are found in several pharmacopoeias (8–10). Reported external uses of olive oil-based ointments or topical preparations include the treatment of a number of skin conditions, such as dermatitis, ichthyosis, burns, eczema, and psoriasis (11–14). Likewise, olive oil has been attributed to anti-infl ammatory and antiaging properties (15) and has been suggested as a suitable drug solvent (16) and emollient (12). The quality of olive oil can be defi ned from a commercial, nutritional or sensory stand- point (17). The nutritional value of olive oil is associated with its high oleic acid content and the presence of minor components, such as phenolic compounds, while its fl avor is strongly infl uenced by the presence of volatiles (18–19). The sensory profi le of an olive oil will vary according to olive variety, soil characteristics, climate, tree health, fruit matu- rity at the time of harvest, collection process, storage conditions, oil extraction process, conservation method before packaging, packaging means, and preservation method and/ or additives (20–21). The sensory quality of virgin olive oils may be quantifi ed by evaluating the sensations defi ned by smell, aroma, taste, and pungent and astringent mouth sensations. Healthy olives introduce positive attributes (fruity, bitter, and pungent), whereas the processes occurring after harvesting tend to mitigate these attributes and induce the appearance of defects, i.e., attributes that are detrimental to product quality (22). The fruity attributes perceived as a smell (directly) or fl avor (retronasal) when oil is intro- duced in the mouth. The maximum odor intensity of olive oil corresponds to the maxi- mum volatile content of the extracted olives, tending to coincide with the optimum maturation degree of harvested olives. The fruitiness of olive oil can be perceived as greenly fruity and/or ripely fruity. The International Olive Oil Council (COI) defi nes the fruity attribute of olive oil as the “set of olfactory sensations characteristic of the oil, which depends on the variety and comes from sound, fresh olives, either ripe or unripe perceived by direct or retronasal means” (23). According to standard COI/T.15/NC No. 3/Rev. 4 (2009), commercial grading of olive oil is based on physicochemical and sensory analysis. According to the results of sensory analysis, olive oils are classifi ed as extra virgin (median of defectiveness rating amounting to zero and median of fruitiness rating greater than zero), virgin (median of defectiveness rating greater than zero but not greater than 3.5 and median of fruitiness rating greater than zero), ordinary virgin (median of defectiveness rating greater than 3.5 but not greater than 6.0, or median of defectiveness rating not greater than 3.5 and median of fruitiness rating amounting to zero), and lampante virgin (median of defectiveness rating greater than 6.0). Olive oils classifi ed as lampante virgin cannot be sold and must be refi ned, los- ing their virgin quality. Several studies have reported on the effectiveness of olive oil as a cosmetic ingredient. However, the infl uence of the sensory profi le of virgin olive oil on the scent of the result- ing cream has not been addressed. A cream containing olive oil can have a characteristic smell that impacts consumer acceptability negatively or requires the use of fl avoring essence.
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