Toward a harmonized and standardized procedure for the determination of total hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol content in virgin olive oil (VOO), the pros of a recently published in house validated ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) protocol are discussed comparatively with those of other procedures that determine directly or indirectly the compounds hosted under the health claim on "olive oil polyphenols" (EC regulation 432/2012). Authentic VOOs were analyzed with five different liquid chromatographic separation protocols and 1H-NMR one in five different laboratories with expertise in VOO phenol analysis within three months. Data comparison indicated differences in absolute values. Method comparison using appropriate tools (Passing-Bablok regression and Bland Altman analyses) for all protocols vs. the UHPLC one indicated slight or statistically significant differences. The results were also discussed in terms of cost effectiveness, detection means, standard requirements and ways to calculate the total hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol content. Findings point out that the in-house validated fit for the purpose UHPLC protocol presents certain pros that should be exploited by the interested parties. These are the simplicity of sample preparation, fast elution time that increase the number of samples analyzed per day and integration of well-resolved peaks with the aid of only two commercially available external standards. Importance of correction factors in the calculations is stressed.
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