Testing the Health Properties of Olive Oil with the OHAUS Vortex Mixer

A revolution in the olive oil industry has just begun, and OHAUS is a part of it!
Learn how our VXMTAL Multi-Tube Vortex Mixer is used by the University of Athens' Department of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products

Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of an olive tree. The general health benefits of olive oil are very well-known, but scientific research reveals and verifies the potential of extra virgin olive oil for the prevention and treatment for many chronic illnesses. The secret lies within the amount of chemical compounds called polyphenols, and extra virgin olive oil has the most of them.

According to European Commission Regulation 432/2012, olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. The claim may be used only for olive oil which contains at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex and tyrosol) per 20 g of olive oil. In order to bear the claim information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 g of olive oil.

The researchers at the laboratory of the University of Athens' Department of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products (the largest state institution for higher learning in Greece) understand very well that olive oil can improve our health and lives. Professor Magiatis Prokopios and his team at Athens University have dedicated their research to the study of the health benefits of olives and olive oil.

The university's laboratory performs analyses of olive oil produced in many regions of the world and provide certification in relation to health claims. They serve olive oil producers who are interested in understanding and maximizing the health properties of their products. The team also provides training for producers, and research the health and therapeutic properties of all olive products, with the ultimate goal being to increase the economic value of their products. After years of scientific research, the university's laboratory has developed an olive oil analysis polyphenols quantification protocol that includes a liquid-liquid extraction step.
A very crucial step in their olive oil analysis method requires vigorous mixing of two liquid components that constitute a two-phase system. Laboratory researchers were looking for a piece of equipment that could fulfill these specific needs. They visited an industry event, Chem 2017 Expo, and came across the OHAUS Vortex Mixer. After the presentation of its functions and running a couple of tests in real-life circumstances, they were convinced that it was an ideal fit for their workflow, with many more applications that came up later. VXMTAL Multi-Tube Vortex Mixer from OHAUS, matches their needs perfectly, and is now being used in the university's laboratory every time a liquid-liquid extraction is performed or to avoid the use of ultrasound extraction (that generates heat and can deteriorate the quality of olive products).
 "Two phase liquid systems don’t mix appropriately when using a typical vortex mixer, or a rotary mixer.
 OHAUS VXMTAL Multi-Tube Vortex Mixer serves as a heavy-duty mixer that turned the two-phase liquid system almost into a homogeneous mix as required by our protocol. By using the OHAUS mixer, we have automated the mixing step of a daily procedure," said Annia Tsolakou, PhD candidate and Professor Magiatis’ associate researcher.
OHAUS Multi-Tube Vortexers are ideal for use in a variety of industries and for high throughput sample processing. Interchangeable foam racks for vortexing tubes from 10 to 29 mm in diameter are available. Vortexing action is created by securing the top of the sample in place, while allowing the bottom to rotate freely in a 3.6mm orbit. Suction cup feet reduce motion and prevent sliding on work surface. Analog and digital models are available which are microprocessor-controlled, or run in continuous or timed mode.
"Every year, we analyze roughly 2000 samples during the olive harvesting period from October to February. The analysis protocol is performed usually on a set of ten samples with multiple sets a day. The OHAUS VXMTAL Multi-Tube Vortex Mixer is used to mix 45 ml of our two-phase liquid system, contained in a 50 ml tube. We typically mix 5-9 samples simultaneously," Tsolakou added.
VXMTAL Multi-Tube Vortex Mixer is praised by the laboratory researchers for shortening the time needed to perform their olive oil analysis protocol. Intense mixing at 2400 rpm at a horizontal position is very efficient in comparison with the previous mixing method. One-minute timer saved the trouble of timing the mixing step by using a clock or a timer.
"Overall, we get the same standardized results, no matter how many samples we analyse at once, or how many times we use the equipment daily," summed up the researcher.
The analysis protocol using the OHAUS Multi-Tube Vortex Mixer was developed in collaboration with PhD candidates Panagiotis Diamantakos, Aimilia Rigakou and Iliana Kalampoki.
Whether mixing reagents of an assay in a biochemistry laboratory or suspending cells in a microbiology laboratory, the process of mixing is essential for day-to-day lab operations. OHAUS offers a range of Vortex Mixers that are designed to handle everything from low to high capacities, various densities to gentle or vigorous vortexing action - depending on your application.

 Learn more about OHAUS Vortex Mixers

9 samples stacked before mixing, using the OHAUS Vortex Mixer

Two-phase liquid system before the mixing step of the protocol

Same samples after using the OHAUS Vortex Mixer